A Page of Madness (1926)
Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa
Main Stars: Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iljima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Storyline: A man works at an asylum hoping he can free his wife from there.
Review (Spoils): a man takes a janitor job at the asylum in hopes of working his way towards his wife’s freedom from there as she was placed there after her attempt of suicide. The twisted film of dance and music and strange images of distorted faces drives the audiences into the mad mind of the wife.
This film has no blood, no true scares and from what I know music was added the film at a later date on the original. This silent film has no narrative written at all, so you really need to watch the facial expressions and action to understand what is happening (I prefer this actually). The film plays mostly on the husband working his way to the cell of his wife as we are offered flashbacks of her past and what happened along with a number of other characters that are trapped in the mental hospital. The visuals of the film are strange flashbacks which you really need to keep track and of the camera shots look like they were done through a jar. The music of the film was a great added touch as I personally feel that without the score going on in the background this film could have been a mix of confusion.
Rating: The things to remember of this film is that there is not a lot of movies from Japan of the era that survived the war and destruction, so it is nice to have what we do in horror. The movie is not bad even though the entrancing dancing could have been overdone and distracting. But the added music to bring in the strangeness and madness of the film is nice added touch and some of the camera work like the visuals of the masks and faces was extremely well done and art in its own. This is film is not going to be for everyone who enjoys horror but if you do enjoy the silent era and films with more of artist feel this is a lost gem.