Kurutta ippêji

Kurutta ippêji
A Page of Madness

An old sailor works as a janitor in a mental institution so he can be with his wife, who is one of the patients. After she attempts suicide, he tries to free her from the institution.


“The film is a significant and rare surviving example of the pre-World War II Japanese avant-garde film, but it is neither systematic nor perfect. It is instead highly experimental, and in view of the artistic environment that produced it, the anarchic avant-garde of the 1920s Japan, it could hardly be otherwise. Rather than a systematic critique, this experimental style is Kinugasa’s war of utter rebellion against film language – a war that he began with the help of the literary avant-garde.”

James Peterson1


“It’s the film’s unforgettable visual intensity that leaves a footprint in your memory. It begins with a vision out of the madwoman’s fantasy life: a dancing princess in front of a vast, spinning ball carpeted with striped fur—what?—and from there, Kinugasa brings a murderously inventive battery of ideas to bear, using double and triple and sometimes quadruple exposures to disorient us. A guard will open a barred door, and the bars will remain; a nervous tracking shot down the central hallway is layered atop a tracking shot going in the opposite direction. Memories are seen through the hazy windows of hallucinations, while in-the-moment experience is literally, visually, haunted by the past. In one disarming moment, during a walk on the institute grounds, the foreground characters are clear while others, just a few feet away, are whited-out, shot perhaps through a vast white veil, creating a vivid sense of ghostly dislocation.”

Michael Atkinson2


“Today, the age of film for the sake of telling stories is gradually passing away. Ultimately, the film must be a progression of mutual understanding formed only between the moving picture and the senses (kankaku) that watch it. A film progresses, then it ends. The viewer must unify the impressions bestowed by this progression and understand it naturally. From one incident on the globe, [the filmmaker must] select many various cross-sections and present these selected sections to the senses (kankaku) of the viewer. This, and only this, is the true responsibility of film.”

Kataoka Teppei3

  • 1James Peterson, “A War of Utter Rebellion: Kinogasa’s “Page of Madness” and the Japanese Avant-Garde of the 1920s,” Cinema Journal 29, no. 1 (1989): 51.
  • 2Michael Atkinson, “A Page of Madness,” The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, 2017.
  • 3Quoted in William O. Gardner, “New Perceptions: Kinugasa Teinosuke’s Films and Japanese,” Cinema Journal 43, no. 3 (2004).
UPDATED ON 05.02.2024
IMDB: tt0017048