Feel like I can not give these a fair rating because I was sick when I saw it. This was the second film in a double screening of films accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra. Although I was not in the right mindset, this film still makes me want to watch more silent films from Japan (and other parts of Asia) and possibly even add some books on Asian film history books to my reading list.
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...
Some of the images are startling, especially the dancing girl at the beginning, and the ending scene with the masks. It-between, I was left bored and genuinely perplexed at this impossible to make sense of movie. Maybe if someone re-wrote their own interpretation of what the "benshi" was supposed to say (a narrator would describe the story on stage in Japan, as opposed to inter-titles), I would have enjoyed it more.
This is a freaking mind-bender. The editing on this is just way ahead of its time; the accompanying score is the best kind of creepy; and the experimental method of unraveling the plot and subplots leaves you wondering what the hell will happen next. A very interesting piece of history and depiction of mental disorder.
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.
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.