Japan, 1926, 60 min
Shown in 2002
Following last year’s successful “collaboration” between Yo La Tengo and Jean Painlevé, indie pop-punk favorites Superchunk will unleash their passionate, guitar-driven sound during a performance of Teinosuke Kinugasa’s little-seen avant-garde groundbreaker A Page of Madness. Bandleader Mac McCaughan and company have written a brand-new, original score to the film, a rediscovered 1926 silent beauty from Japan’s formative years of cinema. The film takes us deep into the mind of an institutionalized woman and her husband, who takes a job as a hospital janitor in an effort to be closer to her. Full of surreal, spooky imagery, Kinugasa’s cutting-edge style shows similarities with German expressionism and the French avant-garde, though it even predates Un Chien Andalou; he also exhibits a radical, frenetic montage technique that echoes the warped, racing and ungrounded imaginations of the characters. At once sad, tender and in-your-face disturbing, scenes from the past and present mix together at a mind-spinning pace, propelling the story without need for intertitles. Based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk has been an indie-rock mainstay since the early ’90s, creating a song catalog as bursting with fresh, manic energy as it is full of unpredictable melodic angles and supremely catchy hooks. Movie events don’t get much more one-of-a-kind than this.