A Page of Madness screening with benshi narration

A Page of Madness screening with benshi narration

A special one-off screening of Teinosuke Kinugasa’s 'A Page of Madness' (1926) on 35mm with live benshi narration and musical accompaniment

We did it!

On 14th Aug 2017 we successfully raised £1,500 of £1,500 target with 41 supporters in 28 days

A new film festival is born! Welcome to the Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival (JAEFF)

A Page of Madness 狂った一頁

For our launch event this autumn we are planning to host a special one-off screening of Teinosuke Kinugasa’s silent masterpiece Kurutta Ippēji (A Page of Madness) on 35mm with live benshi narration and Japanese musical accompaniment on 24th September 2017 (the 91st anniversary of the film’s theatrical release) in London. A Page of Madness is a product of Riichi Yokomitsu and Nobel Prize for Literature recipient Yasunari Kawabata's (co-writer of A Page of Madness) avant-garde group: Shinkankakuha (The New Sensation School). Considered lost for 45 years, Kinugasa thankfully found the print in his garden shed in the early 1970s. Set in a psychiatric hospital, A Page of Madness is a visually stunning, and techincally dazzling work of surrealism. The film contains no intertitles as it was intended to be exhibited with live narration delivered by a benshi.

During the silent film era in Japan, benshi would stand to the side of the screen and introduce and relate the story to the audience. In theatrical style, benshi often spoke for the characters on-screen and played multiple roles. Stemming from the traditions of kabuki and Noh theatres, the benshi's narration and general commentary were an important part of the Japanese silent film experience.

A Page of Madness is rarely shown in the UK, and even fewer screenings deploy benshi narration. With your help we can show this touchstone of avant-garde cinema as it is meant to be seen, and introduce an experimental classic to a new audience of cinema-goers.    


JAEFF’s mission statement is to draw connections between classic 20th century Japanese Avant-garde Cinema and contemporary Japanese experimental filmmaking. We aim to provide a platform for these cinematic movements in order to bring them to a wider audience here in the UK. We encourage inclusivity, and propose to foster co-operative discourses between the practical/artistic, scholarly, and fan communities.  

We need your help!
JAEFF is run by volunteers who have a real passion for film, and want to share that passion with others. Unfortunately we have been unable to secure the funding we need due to grant award terms and conditions, so the fate of this special event is in your hands! By participating in this event, you have directly contributed to the following:

  • The screening fee and shipment of the 35mm film.
  • Paying for an authentic, fully trained benshi to perform the narration.
  • Performers fees for musicians to accompany the film screening.
  • A panel discussion with Japanese Cinema experts.
  • Advertising, marketing and printed promotional materials.

We hope you share our excitement in this special event, and hope to see you there in September!

Thank you for your donation!

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