BL!NDMAN Akenkaai 2, B-1000 Brussels +32 (0)2 201 59 47
 
 

line-up

eric sleichim > artistic direction, concept and composition

BL!NDMAN [sax]
koen maas > soprano saxophone
eric sleichim > alto saxophone
piet rebel > tenor saxophone
raf minten > baritone saxophone

CREW
philippe van leer and xavier yerlès > special sound effects
diederik de cock > sound technician
veerle vaes > production management

A PAGE OF MADNESS is a BL!NDMAN-production, commissioned by Ars Musica, in coproduction with the Royal Film Archive Brussels.

BL!NDMAN is supported by the Arts Administration of the Ministry of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region. BL!NDMAN [sax] play Selmer Paris Saxophones. BL!NDMAN [drums] is supported by Muremo, distributor of Bergerault Percusssion Instruments.

A PAGE OF MADNESS

silent film by Teinosuke Kinugasa from 1928 with live accompaniment
original title > kurutta ippeiji

An encounter of experimental cinema and instrumental inventiveness

the film

¬“A Page of Madness is a masterpiece of Japanese cinema. The film is a significant and rare surviving example of the pre-World War II Japanese avant-garde film, but 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 1920’s 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”.
From: A War of Utter Rebellion: Kinugasa’s Page of Madness and the Japanese Avant-Garde of the 1920¬’s by James Peterson

The main character is an elderly man who used to be a sailor and who neglects his wife and fam¬¨ily. His unhappy wife becomes insane and he feels guilty about that. In order to be near her he takes up a job as a servant in the asylum where his wife resides – without revealing his real iden¬¨tity. He remembers how his wife at¬¨tempted to kill herself and that his daughter saved her. Her baby drowned however. The daughter now visits her mother in the hospital to tell her about her engagement, but the woman doesn’t react at all. Unexpectedly the daughter meets her father whom she considers responsi¬¨ble for the illness of her mother. But she forgives him. During the night the servant tries to escape with his wife to secure his daughter’s happiness.

This movie of 1926 is regarded as one of the first experimental films in Japan, which has been rediscovered some years ago. It is a masterwork of film history; the modernity of this picture is astonishing.

the music

The structure of the film is alienating with the dreams and imaginations, hallucinations, memories and reality passing into each other without clear boundaries. The quartet uses its saxophones almost like percussion instruments: cutting springs, beating mechanisms, quivering reeds and four bodies moving, using voices and hands. Thus they breathe and beat new life into Teinosuke Kinugasa¬’s exceptional film. The result is stirring and moving.

As this film is so strongly supporting itself, the score Eric Sleichim wrote for it is mostly respectful of the architecture as developed by Kinugasa. Inspired by Japanese Noh-theatre and Kabuki, essential silences are respected and the typical percussive sounds of Japanese drums and shakuhachi-flutes are integrated by a non-conventional way of playing the four saxophones.
This performance has been selected by the prominent Japanese magazine ¬“On Stage¬” as one of the three best concerts in Japan in the year 1995.

programme

filmproduction
production > shin kankaru-ha eiga renmei
director > teinosuke kinugasa, 1926
screenplay > teinosuke kinugasa
photography > kohei sugiyama.
set: > seyo ozaki and kasaku hayashi

actors
the warden > masao inoue
his wife > yoshie nakagawa
his daughter > agako jijima
a young man > hiroshi nemoto
the doctor > misao seki
a dancer > eiko minami >

film
length > 60 min (18 images/sec) 16mm
archive > royal film archive brussels


A PAGE OF MADNESS played among others on the following locations:

2002
UTRECHT (NL) - huis aan de werf
2001
SALZBURG (AU) - zeitfluss festival
1996
ANTWERPEN / ANVERS - deSingel
ZÜRICH (CH) - theaterhaus gessner
1995
TOKYO (JPN) - festival konda lota
OSAKA (JPN) - european filmfestival
LJUBLJANA (SLO) - kinoteka
1994
BRUSSEL / BRUXELLES - flagey / ars musica
LEUVEN / LOUVAIN - stuc / aula pieter de somer
HASSELT- zaal belgië
ROTTERDAM (NL) - lantaren/venster
SALZBURG (AU) - sommerscene
GENT / GAND - vooruit / het filmgebeuren
MADRID (ES) - fundacion carlos de amberes
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BL!NDMAN       contact info

Sainctelettesquare 18-19
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 201 59 47

contact:

general and artistic direction:
management:   M +32 485 30 98 01
technical coordination & sound engineer:   M +32 485 53 68 16
production manager:   M +32 498 54 96 81

BL!NDMAN is supported by the Arts Administration of the Ministry of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region. BL!NDMAN [sax] play Selmer Paris Saxophones. BL!NDMAN [drums] is supported by Muremo, distributor of Bergerault Percusssion Instruments.