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PAGE OF MADNESS, A

1927 (MIFF 2004, Sideshow New Media)

Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa

With live score performed by In The Nursery.

A Page of Madness is 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.

'Within minutes, as the rapid montage of the opening storm sequence dissolves into the surrealistic fantasy of the sailor's wife dressed in an exotic costume dancing in front of art-deco backdrop, A Page of Madness bowls you over with a barrage of startling images utilising every technique in the book known to filmmakers of the time [1927]. As eye-popping an experience as anything you're likely to see released nowadays. Director Kinugasa was way ahead of the game.' -Midnight Eye

In the raging fires of American retaliation against Japan during WWII, much of the nation's cinematic history was destroyed. Rarely seen in Australia, A Page Of Madness only survived the war because the original negative was stored in a rice barrel in the director's country home. A dizzying portrait of an insane asylum boasting an expressionistic aesthetic akin to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and elliptical editing that recalled Sergei Eisenstein's finest work, A Page Of Madness is widely credited as one of the finest examples of international experimental cinema.

In the Nursery

In The Nursery (ITN) is the Sheffield-based musical project centred around the nucleus of twin brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone. ITN's musical history spans more than two decades and has constantly expressed its desire for progress and experimentation. Their sublime, cinematic music blends electronica, classical arrangements, orchestral percussion and soundscapes evoking a timeless quality

In The Nursery have released more than two dozen albums since 1981. When Cherished Dreams Come True marked the beginning of a prolific musical career that has produced many landmark albums. The creative progress of the band's albums has always consolidated their distinctive sound while taking on board contemporary influences. Their latest release, Praxis, has continued this remarkable artistic development.

ITN's music has been used on numerous film soundtracks and trailers including Interview with a Vampire, Erin Brokovich, The Sweet Hereafter, An Ambush of Ghosts and the soon-to-be-released The Manchurian Candidate.

Parallel to their studio works, ITN have spent the last eight years developing their Optical Music Series, new scores for classic silent films. The series to date has included The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Asphalt, Man with a Movie Camera, Hindle Wakes and their latest endeavour, A Page of Madness. ITN have performed their new scores at screenings throughout Europe and, in conjunction with MIFF, are venturing further afield. For a wealth of additional ITN information, go to: inthenursery.com

D/P Teinosuke Kinugasa S Yasunari Kawabata, Teinosuke Kinugasa WS BFI L Silent w/English intertitles TD 35mm/Col/1927/60mins

Co-presented by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

With support from the British Council Australia.

See also...

GATE OF HELL

Japan, 1953
Japanese films like Rashomon and Jigokumon have been the surprises at recent International Festivals, and the high standard of these and the few other Japanese films presented abroad in late years le… More »

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