Director Teinosuke Kinugasa
Screenplay Yasunari Kawabata, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Minoru Inuzuka e Bankô Sawada
Cast Masao Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Genre Drammatico / Horror
A Page of Madness is an experimental movie made by a group of avant-garde Japanese artists, the “Shinkankaku-ha”, in 1926. Being experimental, the editing of the movie and the fact there are no titles, makes it hard to discern a classic plot, but one can tell it takes place in an asylum. The main character is the janitor, a former marine, whose wife is one of the patients. One day, their daughter comes to the asylum to announce her recent engagement to her mother. Following that event, a lot of side stories and flashbacks will occur, allowing us to discover why the janitor’s wife is a patient or why his daughter does not know he is a janitor in the asylum. The movie is now considered to be one of silent cinema’s masterpieces.
Teinosuke Kinugasa made some of the most formally brilliant Japanese films of the 20’s. His best-known silent films are Kurutta Ippeji (1926) and Jûjiro (1928), the first Japanese film to be commercially released in Europe. Both have been hailed for their inventive camera work, which has been compared to that of the celebrated German expressionist films being made during the same period. (It was not until 1929 that Kinugasa himself traveled abroad and encountered European directors and their films.) In the 1950s and 60s Kinugasa made a number of period dramas noted for their sumptuous color and imaginative use of the wide screen; La porta dell’inferno (1953) was named best film at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival and won an Oscar for best foreign film.