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670 Ratings

A Page of Madness

狂った一頁 | Kurutta Ippēji

Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
Japan, 1926
Drama, Silent, Avant-Garde


The story of a retired sailor who has taken a job as a janitor in a lunatic asylum to look after his insane wife, locked away after attempting to drown their child. A synopsis of the plot can’t begin to explain the power of the film, nor the audacity of its vision.

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A Page of Madness Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
When’s the last time you were surprised by a silent film? Impressed, dazzled, yes, but genuinely surprised? You’d think by 2017, with all the silent-era history scholarship behind us, that authentic, mutant-DNA “Holy Crap” moments would be rare on the ground, and, of course, they are. But there’s no amount of buckling up that can prepare a well-versed silent cinephile for the utter unheralded weirdness of Teinosuke Kinugasa’s A Page of Madness (Kurutta Ichipeiji).
June 27, 2017
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A Page of Madness has historically been overshadowed by the avant-garde sensations of Un Chien Andalou, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Sergei Eisenstein—no doubt in part because it was lost until 1971—but it belongs in that rarified company… Few films have so consciously crafted a purely cinematic language, eschewing title cards and denoting hallucination and memory purely through distorted point of view shots and editing patterns.
April 20, 2016
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…A madhouse riot of a movie. Traumatic and nauseating, it’s easily the most horrifying movie made during the Silent Era, a weird and queasy dance of death directed by former female impersonator/future Oscar and Palme d’Or winner Teinosuke Kinugasa and written by future Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata.
September 20, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    Missing half an hour of footage and lacking any subtitles (Silent films in Japan were accompanied by a live "Benshi" narrator), reading the synopsis before viewing is highly recommended. It's on You Tube. Wonderful for late-night viewing!

  • tidal waif's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    Boccioni’s Futurism’s subcontrary handbook: linked by visual similitude toward dissenting goals. The de(con)struction of the solid, the synthesis of vision from granular perceptions (speed dynamics at Boccioni, resplendent rave at Kinugasa)+ fetching this fount nervous to its source - individual body - like playing an explosion backwards, the violence (as youthful joyride or extrinsic /intuited offence) show in both.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    This long-lost film famously has no intertitles to explain the plot, so I consulted a synopsis, and even then I had to feel my way through with my best guesses. Regardless, this is one of the best of all silent films, a virtuoso mindbender and formal powerhouse whose view of madness (overwhelming, contagious, and unstoppable) makes Caligari look like a child's diorama. Grab an online summary and take the ride.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    With the issue of the German Expressionist influence being resolved, Kinugasa's nightmarish trip to disciplinary society's contribution to madness thrives on the cult of the mask, both as a hiding haven but also as a revelation of inner drives, in reified form. Technically, it is a tour de force using a variety of stylistic tropes (best in the superimpositions), no inter-titles (!) and an admirable narrative vision.

  • Scorpio Velvet's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    A hypnotic hidden gem of early Japanese cinema. You'll be completely mesmerized by the film's style in editing & its storytelling madness once the picture starts, it's so damn incredible how everything was done in such a way... I felt like I was in a trance seeing this. (0_0) Japan still has to rescue many more early gems made before 1945 like this that were lost. I would love to see Criterion releasing it soon. 5/5

  • Henri de Corinth's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    An IMDb commenter described it perfectly: “It’s both interesting and boring.” Interesting as an artistic one-off due to its creative use of filmmaking techniques. I liked what I saw. Boring because watching it, you experience what is essentially an historical fragment: 20 to 30 minutes of the film and all of its intended narration are lost. This leaves the extant footage almost incomprehensible...

  • joey Noodles's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    Watching this with benshi would be extremely beneficial, sometimes it was impossible to understand what was going on, at one point I had to check the plot outline. However, I cannot discredit the film for this, not its fault that I did not see it this way. A Page of Madness is a surreal maelstrom of striking, disturbing and chaotic imagery that has haunted me for a while now. Superb and powerful filmaking. 5/5

  • Matt Burgess's rating of the film A Page of Madness

    Probably the most impressively filmed silent film ever, just feels so modern with its nightmarish 'pink-film-meets-German-expressionism' atmosphere, grotesque performances and quick cuts. However, its almost completely incomprehensible with no narration or titles to give any idea of what the fuck is going on, still gorgeous eye candy FAR ahead of its time.

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