A lot of Japanese cinema tends to break from conventional styles, which is perhaps what has made this country the birthplace for many unique and unusual genres of film. But this movie in particular will make you question your very own sanity – if you thought Takashi Miike was a head fuck, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
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Based on a treatment by the Nobel Prize winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata, Teinosuke Kinugasa’s self-financed landmark production ‘Kurutta Ippeiji’, hereafter referred to as ‘A Page of Madness’ is a trip into the unsettled world of an insane asylum. Made in 1926, this silent movie tells the story of a retired sailor who works at a mental home to care for his wife who tried to kill their child. Although she is utterly insane, the sailor tragically thinks that he can save her.
The found footage, which was lost up until its recovery in 1971, is reminiscent of French avant-garde directors and Russian montage masters. Kinugasa combined all of these techniques into a stunning and rich theatrical masterpiece, creating an exhilarating and yet movingly disturbing performance of filmmaking. This edition in particular will rattle your insides, as a composer has applied a uniquely written musical score over the film, making the scenes seem even more hauntingly. Get ready:
That music makes it, wouldn’t you agree? It transforms the entire piece from performance art into a psychological mind fuck. Leave it to Japan to be the masters of creepy, even way back in the 20s.
For more on this, check out Takashi Miike’s traumatising incest flick ‘Visitor Q’, which you can read about in our list of top five films on incest. You’re welcome.