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shadow finger, the uncrashed car, 92 yr-old madness


from A Page of Madness, 1926, Teinosuke Kinugasa director

Watched the 1926 Japanese silent movie “A Page of Madness” – the strangest most amazing depiction of mental illness I’ve seen on film. 30 minutes in, in the middle of an insane melee in the madhouse, the film disappears, turns to grey static with the message: “Oops, Sorry something went wrong. Please close and reopen your browser. Error Code 3000,” so I start over, and 30 minutes after that, Twilightzonesville again with same message. 4 more errors in last 10 minutes. Perfect for a madness movie. And adding to the ambiance, there are no title cards – back then the Japanese hired a narrator to give verbal exposition in each theater – so except for the IMDB plot summary of “A husband picks up a job as a janitor at an insane asylum scheming all the time to be close to and free his wife from the institution where she recently attempted suicide,” its interpretation is up to you.

At one point it looked like the old grieving husband trying to rescue his wife was hitting on a young woman, which did not make any sense, so researched and found it was their daughter.

The film’s first 10 minutes are a masterwork multi-exposure fast-cut montage of insanity. Brilliant. And unpleasant.

The closest I can come in weirdness, style, and intensity is Ingmar Bergman – Personae and Hour of the Wolf.

Powerful flick. Going to seriously miss Filmstruck when it shuts down end of this month.

Madness, madness I say!

~ ~ ~

The Starbucks barista asked which scone I wanted. Since the display had a glass top and a ceiling light above it. I held my finger on top and caressed the scone with its shadow. “The one with the shadow finger,” I replied. “Shadow finger?”, she glanced down, saw the shadow stroking the strawberry scone, looked up and broke out laughing.

~ ~ ~

Car starts making weird mechno-electroid sounds on Lady’s way to work. At a red light, she turns it off to see if the sound disappears – whereupon the stop light turns green and the car to her left starts through the intersection… and is hit by a turning car. So noise and stop prevented her crashing too – which is good – but noise comes from dying A/C compressor which is $1300 to replace – which is bad. Already had 2-3 expensive repairs past 18 months. Car is an 11 yr-old Prius and we love it, but looks like time to move up the line.

~ ~ ~

fromĀ A Page of Madness, 1926, Teinosuke Kinugasa director
















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