Kurutta ippêji (A Crazy Page)(A Page of Madness) (1926)
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Critic Reviews for Kurutta ippêji (A Crazy Page)(A Page of Madness)
... [director Teinosuke] Kinugasa's technical and artistic mastery is enough to make A Page of Madness a masterpiece of Japanese and, for that matter, world avant-garde cinema...
Audience Reviews for Kurutta ippêji (A Crazy Page)(A Page of Madness)
Haunting silent film A Page of Madness is a superb piece of cinematic history, a fine film from Japan. This is a film that is well shot, and tells a thoroughly engaging story that just grabs your attention due to the fact that it is a simple, yet effective way of telling a story. The setting of the film is in an asylum, and it's a wonderful way to set a horror film. This is sheer surrealism at its finest; a film that is a nightmare to watch and it is a film that is captivating from start to finish. For its short run time, the film delivers something quite good and if you enjoy silent movies, don't hesitate to give this film a shot, it's well worth your time, and by the time the film ends, you'll ask yourself what you watched, and some questions will certainly linger in your mind soon after. For me, the finest silent film is Metropolis, but this, this is another solid affair, one that will certainly be cherished by genre fans, and if you enjoy surreal horror, A Page of Madness certainly is well worth your time. At times, I must admit due to its age, it's kind of hard to make out what's happening, but for the most part, you get something quite unique and engaging. The film is of course viewed with no audio, as it's a silent picture, but the fact is, is that usually you'd have a card telling you what's going in intervals, here, everything is a in Japanese, so you're left wondering with the power of images what the movie really is about, and try to decipher the plo9t.
People who think Russia deserves all credit for the silent era's editing innovations need to see Teinosuke Kinugasa's "A Page of Madness." Just as flamboyantly bizarre as its story's deranged patients, this brief feature (59 minutes) is a dense, disorienting blitz of quick cuts, double images and wild camera angles. Simply brilliant direction. Unfortunately, the film's gonzo editing, total absence of intertitles and lost footage add up to a plot that's quite difficult to follow. Research indicates the premise is about a man becoming a custodian at a women's asylum in the hopes of rousing his institutionalized wife from her delirium, but their relationship is not so clear based on the film itself. More like a mere case of a janitor who develops a special interest in one patient. Perhaps it's best to forget the story and just marvel at the nightmarish visuals -- the shadows, rain flurries, manic dancing and twisted facial expressions are more than enough.
Truly a movie that lives to it's name, this is one of those times where i have to use those "artsy" big-shot critic term for something, but this film deserves it: this is a cinematic experience like no other. Former kabuki actor turned director Teinosuke Kinugasa, and a cast of performers, create a surreal and deeply atmospheric trip. All sort of techniques are used to create an almost hallucinatory sensation. No title-boards or any other intrusive element ever breaks the flow of the film. Every review you could read out there will surely become a referential list of all the influences the film could have. From Cabinet of Dr Caligari to several other european film techniques of the time. What matters here are the images, cinema is all about that after all, and the images Kinugasa has created have life of their own.
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