A Page of Madness

Gabriel Thibaudeau is the official composer and pianist for La Cinémathèque québécoise in Montréal. His performed compositions include a ballet score, and a new score for Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North, arranged for flute, Inuit throat-singers, soprano, bass, and percussion, which he conducted at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival.

(Kurutta ippeiji). Teinosuke Kinugasa, later renowned internationally for bold films like Gate of Hell (1953), was an artistic pioneer of the Japanese cinema, and his early experimental films A Page of Madness and Crossroads (see December 4) are as much a part of the world history of the avant-garde as they are evidence of the internationalism of the Taisho period. A Page of Madness, written by the novelist Kawabata, tells the disturbing story of a seaman who becomes a janitor in an insane asylum in an attempt to free his wife, incarcerated there following her attempted suicide. Kinugasa relies entirely on visual effects to tell his story. Superimpositions, extreme camera angles, and jarring close-ups combine with lighting and shadow effects to tell the hallucinatory tale from the janitor's point of view, techniques we associate with German Expressionism and Russian montage.

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