Teinosuke Kinugasa’s “A Page of Madness” (“Kurutta Ichipeiji,” 1926) was long thought lost. Only some 75 years later did the discovery of the missing negative allow the picture to be finally viewed by the present generation. At the same time there emerged a critical need to evaluate it because it seemed a somewhat strange entertainment.
Nominally scripted by Yasunari Kawabata, directed by Kinugasa, a shimpa drama specialist formerly an onnagata (female role specialist), it seemed stylistically advanced. It was composed of well over 800 shots, many more and often much shorter than those of the average film (estimated at between five and seven seconds during this period), with some scenes only a few frames in length.