Hysterical Dancing: From Charcot\'s Photographic Iconography to Kinugasa Teinosuke\'s A Page of Madness

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Hysterical Dancing: From Charcot’s Photographic Iconography to Kinugasa Teinosuke’s A Page of Madness

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Alicia Chester Dance, Art, and Film Professor Douglas Crimp Fall 2014

Hysteria in late nineteenth-century Europe was a malady identified with women.1 While hysteria had existed for centuries as a concept, it was in the 1870s to 1880s at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris under the direction of the neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot that it had its nosological heyday as a diagnosed medical neurosis. Charcot approached the illness as a neurological disorder based organically in the body, while his student, Sigmund Freud, along with Josef Breuer, later theorized a psychical basis in repressed traumatic memories which were transformed into physiological symptoms linked associatively or symbolically (conversion disorder). In either theory, however, hysterical women were identified with their bodies—despite Breuer and Freud describing their clients as being highly intelligent and possessing little control over their lives. Hysterical women physically manifested and embodied their illness, and their doctors deciphered their symptoms in order to locate the causal source, whether physical or psychical. Severe cases of hysteria, which necessitated hospitalization at the Salpêtrière under Charcot’s care in the 1870s and 1880s, were notable for attacks of la grand hystérie. Charcot identified four sequential phases of these attacks, like a script: 1) epileptoid, mimicking epileptic attacks, with the most characteristic image of the hysteric being that of a rigid backbend, forming an arc with her body, aptly named the arc-encercle; 2) clownism, with contortions and illogical movements often necessitating the use of a straight jacket;


Jean-Martin Charcot maintained that hysteria also affected men in large numbers, especially those who suffered work-related or railroad accidents resulting in traumatic hysteria, but the majority of permanent patients at the Salpêtrière during Charcot’s tenure were women, including his “star” patient, Augustine (historically the Salpêtrière was a women’s prison/hospital, but Charcot did treat men there). Subsequently, Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud’s Studies on Hysteria (1893–1895) only included case studies of female clients. For a history of the evolution of traumatic hysteria in the nineteenth century from physical to psychical trauma, see especially David Healy, Images of Trauma: From Hysteria to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1993) and Roger Luckhurst, The Trauma Question (London and New York: Routledge, 2008). For a dissenting view of this genealogy, see Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, “How to Predict the Past: From Trauma to Repression,” trans. Douglas Brick, History of Psychiatry 11 (2000): 15–35. !1

3) attitudes passionnelles (or plastic poses), mimicking historically familiar painted depictions of religious devotion and ecstasy; and


4) delirium, or the terminal phase, during which hysterics may be ecstatic or melancholic, or may begin to speak, “replaying” a traumatic memory.2

Although carefully classified, charted, and photographed by those working under Charcot at the Salpêtrière, these phases could take many forms and have many variations, necessitating continuous taxonomical documentation. The description of the terminal phase, delirium, reads similarly to present-day flashbacks as they are understood as a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and it is not accidental that several contemporary psychiatrists posit a direct genealogy from hysteria to PTSD.3 Psychological flashbacks are somatosensory experiences of “reliving” some aspect of a past traumatic moment. The cinematic flashback, employed as early as 1901,4 is a device used to represent temporal shifts in memory or history—usually understood as a subjective moment in which a character remembers a past, possibly traumatic event—which functions to progress exposition in conventionally linear narratives. Important to note here in both psychiatric and filmic discourses is the sense of imbricating the past and present, like superimposed images viewed simultaneously. Flashback entered psychological discourse to describe the experience of hallucinogenic drugs around 1970, but it was first included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1987 (DSM–III–R) as a term synonymous with some aspects of 2

Georges Didi-Huberman, The Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière, trans. Alisa Hartz (Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 2003 [1982]), 115, 160. Also see Monique Sicard, “La femme hystérique : émergence d’une représentation,” in Communication et languages 127 (1st trimester, 2001), 37. 3 See David Healy, Images of Trauma: From Hysteria to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1993), and Jacques Dayan and Bertrand Olliac, “From Hysteria and Shell Shock to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Comments on Psychoanalytic and Neuropsychological Approaches,” Journal of Physiology—Paris 104 (2010): 296–302. 4 In Ferdinand Zecca’s Histoire d’un crime. See Susan Hayward, Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (London and New York: Routledge, 2006), 153. !2

the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, which itself had been outlined as a phenomenon only in 1980 (DSM–III):


Re-experiencing of the trauma as evidenced by at least one of the following: (a) recurrent and intrusive recollections of the event, (b) recurrent dreams of the event and (c) sudden acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were reoccuring, because of an association with an environmental or ideational stimulus (American Psychiatric Association, 1980: p. 238).5

The definition of PTSD and subsequent adoption of flashback came in the wake of the Vietnam War as a description of the audiovisual re-experiencing of trauma—incorporating filmic metaphors into psychiatric discourse—although the term has been used beyond the confines of the DSM definition to describe “body memories” more broadly: somatosensory, kinesthetic, haptic, aural, olfactory, and affective experiences inaccessible to language and autobiographical narration.6 Unlike film characters remembering past events or individuals with PTSD reexperiencing trauma through flashbacks, however, hysterics not only did not remember the narrative content of traumatic “body memories” inaccessible to language and ordinary memory, they also did not remember the lived experience of their deliriums or any other phase of their attacks of grande hystérie. Traumatic memories remained inaccessible to hysterics’ conscious minds, but these memories underwent psychical condensation and unconscious conversion to be manifested through the symbolic gestures and spectacular performances of hysterical bodies. In

5 American

Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–III, 1980), 238. Quoted in Edgar Jones, Robert Hodgins Vermaas, Helen McCartney, Charlotte Beech, Ian Palmer, Kenneth Hyams, and Simon Wessely, “Flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder: the genesis of a 20th-century diagnosis,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 182 (2003): 160. 6 Jones et al., “Flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder: the genesis of a 20th-century diagnosis”: 160. !3

discussing the “indicating-phenomenon” of hysterical attacks in Invention of Hysteria, Georges Didi-Huberman quotes Heidegger’s Being and Time:


This is what one is talking about when one speaks of the ‘symptoms of a disease’ [Krankheitserscheinungen]. Here one has in mind certain occurrences in the body which show themselves and which, in showing themselves as thus showing themselves, ‘indicate’ something which does not show itself.7

Hysterical bodies externalized illness through exhibiting cryptic physical symptoms indicating internal psychical and affective states. In this sense hysterical symptoms may be viewed as indexical like photography and film, as signs physically connected to their referents8: through the enforced photographic stillness of paralysis or the frenzied movement of epileptic-like seizures —both of which Freud described as defying anatomy9—hysterical bodies pointed to something hidden internally. As evident from Charcot’s sequence of grande hystérie outlined above and the wide array of possible symptoms—from mild symptoms like melancholy, anxiety, headaches, vision problems, muscle pain, ovarian tenderness, faintness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and insomnia, to severe symptoms like convulsions, autohypnosis, paralysis, aphasia, and amnestic episodes—hysteria was a negative diagnosis in the sense that anything else had to be ruled out first. It was a conglomerate of symptoms composing a mysterious illness that many doctors believed to be feigned and its sufferers to be consummate actresses. Charcot, however, believed 7

Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (New York: Harper and Row, 1962), 52. Quoted in Didi-Huberman, 103. 8 “[An index is] a sign, or representation, which refers to its object not so much because of any similarity or analogy with it, nor because it is associated with general characters which that object happens to possess, as because it is in dynamical (including spatial) connection both with the individual object, on the one hand, and with the senses or memory of the person for whom it serves as a sign, on the other hand.” Charles Sanders Peirce, “Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs” (c. 1897-1910), in Philosophical Writings of Peirce, ed. Justus Buchler (New York: Dover, 1955), 106. 9 “[H]ysteria behaves in its paralyses and other manifestations as if anatomy were non-existent, or as if it had no knowledge of it. CSOHP” Nandor Fodor and Frank Gaynor (eds.), Freud: Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1958), 76. !4

in hysteria and made it his life’s most notable work. He also believed in the power of photography as a documentary medium to shed light upon the hysterical mystery through “arresting the symptom,” that is, freezing exemplary physiological moments during the attacks in order to decipher them. For Charcot, these photographs functioned synecdochically for hysteria as a whole, becoming ciphers requiring captions, lengthy explanations, and careful and sequential categorization, all immortalized in three volumes entitled l’Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière (1876–1880) by Charcot’s students, Désire Magloire Bourneville and Paul Régnard. Before l’Iconographie, however, Charcot had to learn how to photograph hysteria, to arrest the symptom. Photographing a hysteric was difficult for many reasons, not the least of which were the unknown timing of the attacks, the lighting conditions in the hospital, and the slower exposure times of photography in the nineteenth century. It proved convenient to house a dedicated photographer and photographic facilities within the Salpêtrière; the talented Paul Régard entered the hospital as a medical intern in 1875 and took charge of this service.10 Charcot also became a master of predicting and provoking hysterical attacks on cue through physical manipulation—such as flashing a light or compressing or prodding parts of the body—or through hypnosis and suggestion. The provocations of grande hystérie became the mainstay of his leçons du mardi (“Tuesday Lectures”), which were open to the public and attended not only by doctors but also by such celebrities as the actress Sarah Bernhardt, to whom “star” hysterics like Augustine were often compared.11 The staged conditions of these theatrical lectures and the 10

Didi-Huberman, 44. Elaine Showalter, foreword, Augustine (Big Hysteria), Anna Furse (Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997), xv. Also see Christopher G. Goetz, Michel Bonduelle, and Toby Gelfand, Charcot: Constructing Neurology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 238. 11


photographed attacks, as well as the clarity of the photographs which should have been blurred during hysterical convulsions, have led to speculation on the nature of the illness, the possibility of patients being coached by doctors or by images of hysterical poses and attacks prominently decorating the Salpêtrière, and the coerced or persuaded complicity of patients.12 A symptom that could not be captured by a still photographic camera was chorea,13 so called by Charcot because of its resemblance to spasmodic dance moves. Chorea rhythmica was a phase of some hysterical attacks in which the hysteric moved in a dance-like fashion. Charcot claimed a connection between hysteria and historical phenomena like Saint Vitus Dance14—in which peasants would dance in a contagious frenzy for hours or days to exhaustion or even death —and tarantism, an Italian dancing malady derived from popular belief that the bite of a wolf spider, locally known as a tarantula in the province of Taranto, would either induce or require hysterical dancing as a means to prevent death.15 The influence of hysterical movement may be traced through this speculative pathological dance genealogy proposed by Charcot, the common motif of dancing to exhaustion or death in such ballets as Giselle (1841, revived in the early twentieth century) and The Firebird (1910), and the continued incorporation into many ballets of the tarantella, a brisk Italian folk dance originating in tarantism. Charcot’s theatrical public lectures and professional fame and the photographs of l’Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière brought the image of hysteria into public and 12

See Elaine Showalter, Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 36. Also see Alexandra Kolb, Performing Femininity: Dance and Literature in German Modernism (Bern: Peter Lang AG, 2009), 134, in which she cites Sander Gilman, “The Image of the Hysteric,” in Hysteria Beyond Freud, ed. Sander Gilman (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1993), 345–352. 13 Chorea is the Latin word for “dance.” 14 Saint Vitus Dance is also known as dancing mania or dancing plague, and is now considered synonymous with the modern diagnosis of Sydenham’s chorea. 15 See Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations between Music and Possession (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985). !6

popular consciousness in late nineteenth-century France and beyond. Elaine Showalter quotes Jan Goldstein in writing: “The ‘iconography’ of hysteria as defined by Charcot—with all its vividly theatrical contortions and grimaces—seems to have been so widely publicized…in both pictorial and verbal form, as to constitute for that historical moment a reigning ‘cultural preconception’ of how to act when insane.”16 Dance and theatrical productions incorporating dance based on the “iconography” of hysteria, whether as explicit content or solely formal qualities, continued well into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Anna Furse indicates dance sequences with minimal direction for Augustine (Big Hysteria) (1997), which she describes in her staging notes as: …made up of natural gestures in the cigar-dance, or the study of authentic Augustine photographs for her movement. Similarly, the long slow dance she performs at the beginning of the play must be based in authentic material. As for her hysteric attacks, they can and should be reconstructed from available archive material.17 Other notable examples are Dr. Charcot’s Hysteria Shows, a “research through performance” collaboration led by Dianne Hunter and choreographer Judy Dorwin (1988–1989), and Ildiko Nemeth’s Some Historic, Some Hysteric (2006), both of which heavily incorporated dance. To return to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Alexandra Kolb notes in her study of German modernist dance and literature that although hysteria featured in many romantic and classical ballets, female dance and mental illness became explicitly linked with the advent of modern psychoanalysis. She uses Hofmannsthal’s Elektra (1903) as an example, in which “the female protagonist’s dissociation of personality and frenzied agitation culminates in an ecstatic


Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 330. Quoted in Showalter, Hystories, 36. 17 Anna Furse, Augustine (Big Hysteria) (Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997), 13. !7

dance; a dance which was seen as indicative of mental disturbance and explicitly linked with ‘illness’ or ‘pathology.’”18 Contextualizing her argument, Kolb writes: If hysterical seizures often took the same shape as dance movements, correspondingly dance was often seen, from a medical perspective, as having hysterical attributes. The link between the hysterical nature of some dance and the performative nature of hysteria was indeed made explicit when ecstasy and trance were introduced to modern dance, for instance in the work of Madeleine G.19


Not much is known about Madeleine Guipet, known as Madeleine G., whom Kolb claims was a Parisian housewife with two children. She inadvertently became a dancer at the turn of the twentieth century, although she never received professional training, after consulting a magnésiteur (magnetist) to treat headaches and discovering that she was “particularly receptive to hypnotic suggestion.”20 Under hypnosis, Madeleine reacted strongly to music or literature by dancing: “She displayed a noticeable talent for transforming affects she found expressed in music into nuanced mimic expressions and dance. Moreover, the catalepsy she experienced once the music stopped allowed photographers to capture her image.”21 Hypnosis was a common means to both induce hysterical attacks (Charcot) and treat hysteria by locating the unconscious psychical cause (Freud) and replacing traumatic memories by suggesting less threatening ones (Pierre Janet). Hysterics were often adept at autohypnosis as well, and hysterical attacks were concomitant with a hypnotic or trance-like state. For these reasons Madeleine G. became a sensation in the theatrical and medical communities, being an “interesting case of hypnotic somnambulism based on hysteria.”22 Many of her performances 18

Kolb, 129. Ibid., 128. 20 Ibid., 131. 21 Ibid., 132. 22 Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, Die Traumtänzerin Magdeleine G. Eine psychologische Studie über Hypnose und dramatische Kunst (The Dream Dancer Madeleine G. A Psychological Study on Hypnosis and Dramatic Art) (Stuttgart: Verlag von Friedrich Enke, 1904), 42. Translated by and quoted in Kolb, 133. 19


were restricted to the press and the medical, academic, and artistic communities. Specialists and psychiatrists would examine Madeleine G. before, during, and after her performances, with no less than fourteen such doctors in Munich in 1904. Her performances in Munich were described by physician and psychiatrist Freiherr Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, who published a study on Madeleine G. and hypnotic dance the same year23: A Parisian called Madeleine G. was brought forward by a magnetizer named Magnin. The person […], clad only in a thin, flowing pale blue silk robe of Imperial style, was put to sleep by the hypnotist while standing, and sank into an armchair. Two doctors confirmed she had entered a state of somnambulism. Suddenly music sounds behind a curtain […]. Immediately Magdeleine [sic] rises from her armchair and accompanies these sounds with arms and legs and vivid facial expression […]. The master [begins] to play Chopin’s funeral march. At once Magdeleine’s [sic] body is seized by the majestic tragedy of this piece’s great accords and seems shaken to the utmost; the pantomime of pain increases more and more; the somnambule utters loud, unarticulated sounds of complaint that nonetheless hit Chopin’s notes perfectly. She throws herself onto the floor with a facial expression full of indescribably sorrow and all of a sudden grows stiff and lifeless when the music on the piano breaks off.24


Schrenck-Notzing’s description is reminiscent of the hysterical attacks induced by hypnosis during Charcot’s theatrical leçons du mardi, with Madeleine G. performing spectacularly in a trance before collapsing and returning to normal consciousness. Other contemporary reviews explicitly diagnosed Madeleine G. as a hysteric. One doctor wrote that she had “a distinct hysterical disposition and, accordingly, an enormous excitability; the ability to change from one affect quickly into another; and lastly, the well-known inclination of hysterical people for theatrics and public display.”25 Another reviewer asked: Is Madeleine G. a strongly hysterical performer…or is she a strong performer of hysteria? Very likely she is both.[…]this marvelous body with the outrageous lines that 23

Schrenck-Notzing’s study, cited in the footnote above, is not available in English. Schrenck-Notzing, 13f. Translated by and quoted in Kolb, 133–134. 25 Dr. S. Seif (physician and critic), in Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, 1905. Reprinted in Henry Marx, “Madeleine: Two Reviews,” The Drama Review 22:2, Occult and Bizarre Issue (June 1978): 30. 24


seem to sprout and to grow in a wild crescendo in all directions, then contract again;— the eyes inexpressively filled; this thrusting, gripping and collapsing.…the innermost is turned outward.26


Like a hysteric, she created a “correspondence between her internal psychic states and external bodily expression,”27 albeit through hypnotic dance rather than epileptic-like seizures or paralysis, thus earning her the epithet “The Dream Dancer.” Madeleine G. represents the most direct connection of hysteria and dance, especially as she was an amateur and performed only under hypnosis, but the expression of feminine subjectivity through bodily movement spread into professional modern dance. Barely a generation younger,28 Mary Wigman (1886–1973) studied dance with Rudolf von Laban, innovator of Laban Movement Analysis and Labanotion. She was at the forefront of Weimar-era modern dance in Germany and dedicated herself to expressionism, advocating modern dance as a means to convey emotion and express inner psychical life—in other words, “dance as an exteriorization of affects.”29 The heart of Wigman’s notion of modern dance was “the use of the body as an instrument or medium for otherwise hidden emotional forces,”30 the revelation of an intensive interiority through excessive exteriority. With a backward glance, the intensity of emotion and movement of expressionist dance evokes Madeleine G.’s somnambulant performances and, in turn, hysterical attacks: “where hysteria is concerned, the representations are particularly excessive, excessively intense, said Freud.”31 The idea of excessively intense representation may be equally applicable to Wigman’s, Madeleine G.’s, or hysterics’ bodily 26 Alfred

Kerr, in Der Tag, 8 Feb. 1905. Reprinted in Henry Marx, “Madeleine: Two Reviews”: 31. Kolb, 136. 28 Madeleine Guipet may have been born in 1876, as claimed by the Italian dance, theater, and music school Associazione Culturale Magdeleine G.: www.magdeleineg.org/silvia/?page_id=404. Accessed Dec. 16, 2014. 29 Kolb, 160. 30 Ibid., 155. 31 Didi-Huberman, 151. 27


performance of inner subjectivity, or the photographic representations in l’Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière documenting condensed moments of hysterical crisis—whether staged or not. For Wigman, the introverted and emotional qualities of expressionist dance were related to femininity. She believed that, in contrast to the masculine rationality of ballet, modern dance “induces an empathic experience in the viewer” to connect the soul of the dancer to the souls of the audience.32 Kolb notes that ballet dancers train in front of mirrors, externalizing their image and objectifying their bodies from the viewpoint of the ostensibly male gaze. Wigman, however, was known for the speed of her whirling movements, in which she created a visual impression more concerned with emotional expression through symbolic movement than the composition of a stable image. Wigman wrote: “The dancer extinguishes in himself the world of realities and and invokes in himself the image of their inner vision.”33 An extant example indicative of Wigman’s invocation of her inner vision is Hexentanz (Witch Dance) (1926). Only two minutes of original footage of Wigman performing this dance survive, but the choreography has been reconstructed from the film as well as other documentation and notes. Although Hexentanz is performed on the floor without whirling movements, notably Wigman dons a mask reminiscent of classical Japanese nō theater masks. The mask literally turns her gaze inwards, frustrating the viewer’s gaze and denying her audience any affective read of her face. Her bodily movements become the sole carrier of the dance’s emotive intensities. ———

32 33

Kolb, 145. Mary Wigman, “Das Instrument des Tänzers” (undated and unpublished). Translated by and quoted in Kolb, 157. !11

Now we circumnavigate the globe in 1926 from Mary Wigman’s expressionist Hexentanz in Germany to avant-garde movements in Japan. Contrary to a commonly held belief that Japan was largely isolated from Western cultural influence before World War II, Japan began assimilating Western art and literature as early as 1868 with the Meiji Restoration, developing a strong and diverse Japanese avant-garde by the mid-1910s. The years immediately following the end of World War I were increasingly open to the importation of Western ideas, with Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Impressionism, and Expressionism incorporated, adapted, and transformed into an evolving Japanese aesthetic.34 In 1926 a film entitled A Page of Madness (Kurutta Ippeiji)35 was produced and directed by Kinugasa Teinosuke (1896–1982). One of the only surviving Japanese avant-garde films of the silent era—most were destroyed in the Kanto earthquake of 1923 or during World War II—A Page of Madness was lost until 1971, when Kinugasa discovered a print at his home in storage.36 The film was rereleased in 1973 with a newly composed score and was cut, likely by Kinugasa himself, from 103 minutes to seventy-eight minutes when screened at eighteen frames per second, a common speed for the silent era. This rereleased version was later digitized by the George Eastman House from a 1970s acetate preservation print. The currently available online version of the film is only fifty-nine minutes, meaning it runs too quickly at the twenty-four frames per second of synchronized sound. Since the online version is the only one currently 34

James Peterson, “A War of Utter Rebellion: Kinugasa’s Page of Madness and the Japanese Avant-Garde of the 1920s,” Cinema Journal 29:1 (Autumn, 1989): 36–38. On these pages Peterson cites To The Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema by Noël Burch (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979) as discussing A Page of Madness from the viewpoint that Japan was culturally isolated from the West before World War II and that A Page of Madness was not influenced by the European avant-garde. 35 狂った一頁. The title has also been translated as A Crazy Page or A Page Out of Order. 36 Jasper Sharp, “A Page of Madness,” article and interview with Mariann Lewinsky, Midnight Eye, 7 March 2002. www.midnighteye.com/features/a-page-of-madness. Different sources variously claim that Kinugasa rediscovered the film in his storeroom, garden shed, or old house. !12

accessible to most viewers, this last point is important with respect to the speed of the action, cuts, and rhythm of the film. Kinugasa initially trained as an onnagata, an actor who played female roles, and he moved from working in a touring theater troupe to acting in film in this capacity in 1917 at Nikkatsu’s Mukōjima Studio. He directed his first film at the studio in 1920, but quit in 1922 along with all the other onnagata when the studio began employing actresses.37 He later produced a rensageki, a theatrical drama incorporating filmed scenes with live stage acting in a single narrative.38 This form of hybrid performance brings to mind benshi, performers commonly accompanying silent cinema in Japan who created dialogue in different voices, narrated and commented upon action, and made sound effects. Benshi accompanied the initial screenings of A Page of Madness, although Kinugasa’s addition of a soundtrack in the 1970s and the absence of intertitles indicates that he may have preferred the film to be viewed on its own or did not deem benshi to be integral to the experience. In the 1920s Kinugasa studied European and Soviet avant-garde cinema, including techniques of associative montage, and later studied sound synchronization in Paris.39 His avant-garde affiliations are evident in A Page of Madness. A Page of Madness loosely tells the story of a former sailor who becomes a custodian in an insane asylum to watch over his wife, who became an inmate several years before. Extensive flashbacks superimposing images of the diegetic past and present show that she had attempted to commit suicide by drowning, inadvertently dropping her baby into the water when her older 37 Aaron

Gerow, A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2008), 17. Mariann Lewinsky also wrote extensively on A Page of Madness in Eine verrückte Seite—Stummfilm ind filmische Avantgarde in Japan (Chronos, Zürich, 1997), but the text is unavailable in English. 38 Ibid., 18. 39 Sharp. The first commercially successful synchronized sound “talkie,” The Jazz Singer, debuted in 1927, a year after A Page of Madness. !13

daughter restrained her from jumping in. The wife was driven to this point by mistreatment at the hand of her husband, who left her but who now feels remorse. Their daughter visits to announce her engagement to her mother, although she was unaware that her father worked at the asylum. In fear that his daughter’s marriage may be endangered by having an insane mother, the custodian tries ineffectually to free his wife, who does not want to go with him. The film culminates without narrative resolution for the characters in a scene in which the custodian passes out nō masks to the inmates, similar to the mask worn by Mary Wigman in Hexentanz.40 Although the untranslated opening credits would provide a Japanese-reading audience some frame of reference, without benshi to interpret or intertitles to provide context, the film is largely impressionistic and surreal, involving extensive use of montage, superimpositions, and free association, and making the narrative nearly impossible to follow. Different reviews of the film summarize important points of the narrative quite differently. However, the narrative does not seem to be the point. The film intends to exteriorize subjective experience, like the dances of Madeleine G. and Mary Wigman.41 The actors’ movements are highly choreographed throughout, yet one dancer, played by Minami Eiko, recurs periodically, dancing alone frenziedly in her cell. Through her continuous performance, dance is incorporated directly into the theme and setting of madness, and female dance is explicitly linked to psychopathology. In his article “New Perceptions: Kinugasa Teinosuke’s Films and Japanese Modernism,” William Gardner emphasizes the visual spectacle of A Page of Madness, relegating any discussion of Minami’s dancing to one visual spectacle among others, including montage, the use 40

Since both Hexentanz and A Page of Madness were created in 1926, the use and resemblance of the masks are purely coincidental. 41 The same may be said of Martha Graham regarding exteriorizing subjective experience and concomitant similarities to hysteria, for example, in Lamentation (1930). !14

of light and shadow, and editing speed and rhythm. This is understandable in the context of his article, which seeks to historicize and contextualize Kinugasa’s place in Japanese avant-garde cinema and the literary movement with which he was associated, shinkankakuha, or New Perception school. The writer Kawabata Yasunari, who later became the first Japanese recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, was a prominent member of the shinkankakuha and wrote the initial script for A Page of Madness. Another of the movement’s leaders, Yokomitsu Riichi, wrote regarding the movement: “The phenomenon of perception for the shinkankakuha is, to put it briefly, the direct, intuitive sensation of a subjectivity that peels away the naturalized exterior aspects and leaps into the thing itself.”42 This statement emphasizes subjective sensory experience as well as an anxiety connected with modernity. Gardner also quotes cinema theorist Ben Singer as describing this anxiety as “a neurological conception of modernity” that must “be understood in terms of a fundamentally different register of subjective experience, characterized by the physical and perceptual shocks of the modern urban environment.”43 Gardner similarly recalls a quote by Miriam Hansen in her essay “The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Cinema as Vernacular Modernism”: The juncture of classical cinema and modernity reminds us that the cinema was not only part and symptom of modernity’s experience and perception of crisis and upheaval; it was also, most importantly, the single most inclusive cultural horizon in which the traumatic effects of modernity were reflected, rejected or disavowed, transmuted or negotiated.44


William Gardner, “New Perceptions: Kinugasa Teinosuke’s Films and Japanese Modernism,” Cinema Journal 43:3 (Spring, 2004): 60. 43 Ben Singer, “Modernity, Hyperstimulation, and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism,” in Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, eds. Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 72. Quoted in Gardner, 60. 44 Miriam Hansen, “The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Cinema as Vernacular Modernism,” Modernism/ Modernity 6:2 (1999): 68, 69. Quoted in Gardner, 73. !15

In quoting these theorists, Gardner sets up an explicit parallel between the narrative content of the film and the medium itself, along with a metaphor of the rhythmic movement of bodies to the rhythm of cinematic machinery. He situates Kinugasa in a Japanese artistic milieu influenced by the importation of European modernism discussed above, including translations of poetry by the surrealist André Breton. As playwright Anna Furse notes in her introduction to Augustine (Big Hysteria), in the 1920s, an era repudiating the conception of hysteria, Breton considered hysteria to be a great poetic discovery of the late nineteenth century. Published in 1928, two years after the production of A Page of Madness, Breton and Louis Aragon wrote: “Hysteria is not a pathological phenomenon and can be considered in every respect a supreme means of expression.”45 Gardner contrasts the expression of interior psychical states depicted throughout A Page of Madness, whether by the actors or through filmic devices like superimposition, with the closing sequence in which inmates don nō masks, which he claims represents an escape from madness—as he writes, “an escape…from an extreme form of the interiority and alienation characteristic of modern subjectivity.”46 Gardner thus situates Kinugasa’s exploration of psychical trauma in A Page of Madness through symbolism and his improvisational and avant-garde experiments with light, shadow, montage, superimposition, multiple exposures, and distortions, rather than through historical or cultural contexts for mental illness in Japan or influences from Europe. Nonetheless, the comparison of A Page of Madness to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) seems natural due to their shared expressionist styles and settings of insane asylums. Although Kinugasa claimed not


Louis Aragon and André Breton, “The Quinquagenary of Hysteria (1878–1928),” in La Révolution surréaliste 11 (March 1928). Quoted in Furse, 10. 46 Gardner, 68. !16

to have seen the film at the time of its production, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was quite popular in Japan when it screened in 1921, and it was documented as being influential on the shinkankakuha.47 The recurrence of mental illness as a theme in early cinema is perhaps not coincidental. The development of psychoanalysis in the late nineteenth century, most iconically identified with Freud, was a truly modern phenomenon contemporaneous with the birth of cinema and the term now shared by both discourses, flashback. The asylum in A Page of Madness seems to be a mixture of the Salpêtrière of the eighteenth century, in which prostitutes and poor, old, and mentally ill women were imprisoned in chains, and Charcot’s Salpêtrière of the late nineteenth century, which by comparison was humane and closer to the medical model of contemporary mental institutions. The inmates in A Page of Madness are not in chains and are cared for by doctors and nurses with a level of compassion and concern, but they are also periodically imprisoned behind bars, isolated in separate cells in an environmental and visual “logic of separation”48 that the inmates continually try to overcome. Didi-Huberman’s remark regarding the Salpêtrière—“Treatment became bound up with internment”49—is equally applicable to the asylum in A Page of Madness. Although hysteria has not been explicitly connected with A Page of Madness in literature, given the documented influence of Western modernism in early twentieth-century Japan it is plausible to posit that Kinugasa and his contemporaries were familiar with hysteria and the photographs of l’Iconographie photographique de la Salpêtrière, as well as with modern dance influenced by hysteria, such as Madeleine G. and Mary Wigman. At the very least, to repeat a


Gardner, 65, and Peterson, 38. See Gerow, “The Logic of Separation and the Masking of Cinema,” in A Page of Madness, 84–99. 49 Didi-Huberman, 6. 48


quote from Jan Goldstein, it is likely that the “‘iconography’ of hysteria as defined by Charcot— with all its vividly theatrical contortions and grimaces—[…] constitute[d] for that historical moment a reigning ‘cultural preconception’ of how to act when insane.”50 This sets the stage for Minami Eiko, who plays an insane dancing woman in A Page of Madness about whom nothing is revealed. Her character has no known past and is notably never out of her cell, as the other characters are. The film script simply lists her character as: “A dancing girl, a mental patient.”51 Her incessant dancing seems apart from yet influential upon the rest of the action. We are given periodic views of her fluid and quick movements, which rarely stop throughout the film, from the alternating vantages of inside and outside her cell. Her main performances punctuate the film at three regularly spaced points, providing a more decipherable rhythmic structure than the rest of the film seems to offer. The dancer first appears at the very beginning of the film in an elaborate costume on a spectacular stage. This frame zooms out through vertical bars to reveal she is actually imprisoned in the asylum and then fades to black, opening again in the asylum with an oblique shot of the dancer’s still costumed shadow twirling behind bars in her cell. A crossfade lets us see the dancer as she truly is for the first time: “The crazy dancing girl dances frenziedly.”52 No longer attired in a beautiful costume, she dances frantically in her cell, intercut with shots of a storm, drums, running water, and the asylum itself. Given the prominence of Minami’s dancing in the opening sequence and its importance throughout A Page of Madness, it is accorded surprisingly little attention in reviews and


Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 330. Quoted in Showalter, Hystories, 36. 51 Kinugasa Teinosuke. Kinugasa Teinosuke’s A Crazy Page and Crossroads. Trans. D.A. Rajakaruna (Sri Lanka: Kandy Offset Printers Ltd, 1998), 2. 52 Ibid., 3. !18

scholarship. A 1976 review of the film focused on the psychology and motivations of the custodian, and the longest description allotted to the dancer was a sentence describing the opening sequence: “The woman now wears only a drab asylum smock against the gray institutional walls; her movements are frantic and her figure is pathetic as she twirls uncontrollably.”53 She becomes correctly metonymic of madness and the asylum itself in this review and other texts, but her role is simplified, being valued with no more importance than recurring visual motifs like parallel and crossing lines, the contrast of light and shadow, and avant-garde editing techniques. What each text seems to miss is that it is the dancer rather than the custodian who carries and conveys the emotional weight of the plot, the enclosure of the asylum, the inner psychical states of the other characters, and the intensity of the film. Like Madeleine G., Minami Eiko herself is somewhat a mystery. She was born in 1902 and was a professional chorus girl in popular dance revues in the 1920s and 1930s in Asakusa, Tokyo’s entertainment center from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.54 Kawabata Yasunari, a leading member of the shinkankakuha who wrote the initial script for A Page of Madness, mentions Minami in his documentary novel of 1930, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa: “The fourth and fifth performances of the Paramount Show at the Denkikan—though it was back in June, Haruno Yoshiko’s jazz dance and Minami Eiko’s Charleston seemed very 1930.”55 This sentence confirms Minami’s presence as a chorus girl in Tokyo performing Western rather than


Robert Cohen, “A Page of Madness by Teinosuke Kinugasa,” Film Quarterly 29:4 (Summer, 1976): 49. “During the final decades of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, Asakusa was the major entertainment center of Tokyo. From the 1840s to the 1940s, it was to Japan’s capital as Montmartre was to Paris, as the Alexanderplatz was to Berlin.” Donald Richie, foreword, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, by Kawabata Yasunari (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2005), ix. 55 Kawabata Yasunari, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, originally published as Asakusa kurenaidan (Senshinsha, 1930), translated with preface and notes by Alisa Freedman, foreword and afterword by Donald Richie, illustrated by Ōta Saburō (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2005), 135. 54


traditional Japanese dance and that she was well-known enough at the time not to require further contextualization by Kawabata in his novel. The long, exposed legs of showgirls like Minami were markers of the “Modern Girl” in interwar Japan, and by the mid-1920s a Japanese transliteration of “modern,” modan, had become integral to the Japanese language.56 Beyond the mention of Minami as being the dancer in A Page of Madness, little information about her is available in English or, for that matter, in Japanese. An online search in Japanese revealed only that she also appeared in the 1927 film Tabi geinin, studied ballet with a female Russian dancer and studied acting, was a member of the all-female OSK Dance School (Osaka Shochiku Kagekidan), and later directed her own dance school.57 Her date of death is unknown, suggesting Minami died in obscurity. Even with little autobiographical information available, Minami’s ballet training and confirmed employment as a chorus girl performing the Charleston elucidates her fast, fluid, and whirling style of Western balletic and modern dance in A Page of Madness. Although darker and more tattered, the dancer’s short and loose smock resembles those worn in photographs by Charcot’s “star” hysteric, Augustine. An enlarged photograph depicting the dancer with her 56

Miriam Silverberg, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2006), 7. For the “long, exposed legs…of the Modern Girl,” see illustration 25, “Asakusa Eroticism.” 57 Joanne Bernardi (Associate Professor of Japanese, University of Rochester) was kind enough to conduct this search for me: “I did a google.co.jp search in Japanese for Minami Eiko (南栄子) and couldn’t find anything related specifically to her as a dancer. I did find out that she appeared in only one other film in 1927 called Tabi geinin (the term for a traveling actor or entertainer, or a troupe of such actors) and she studied ballet with a Russian woman. Unfortunately this teacher's name is written phonetically in Japanese, so I can’t decipher it beyond her first name probably being Ksenia ([her] second name seems to be something like Makuretsuva). Probably most significant for you is that Minami also belonged to the all-female OSK Dance School (Osaka Shochiku Kagekidan, e.g., I’ve attached a picture I found of the OSK Spring Dance Finale of 1932) and studied acting, and after appearing in the film she had her own dance school. (The OSK was formerly known as the Shochiku Gekidan, formed in 1922, e.g., picture attached of ‘The Girl from Aries,’ 1923.) Minami had only a very brief Japanese Wikipedia entry. Nothing else really showed up except lots of people’s comments asking questions about her, all unanswered or referring…to a picture of her in [A] Page of Madness or one of the two lovely portraits I’m attaching. The Wikipedia entry had her death date as “unknown,” which suggests that she died in obscurity (b. 1902).” Joanne Bernardi, email message to author, 4 Dec. 2014. !20

hands reaching upward, striking a pose similar to Augustine’s attitudes passionelles, is torn in three pieces and adorns the wall of her seemingly padded cell. Her hand continually strikes this photographic likeness as she dances wildly in the opening sequence until collapsing from exhaustion, her bare feet bleeding from the exertion. The dizzying visual instability of her Mary Wigman-like whirling is montaged at an increasingly fast pace, intercut with shots of the asylum, drums, running water, a nighttime storm, and abstract flashes, while her dancing also gains momentum. The end of the sequence is artificially sped up and the camera begins to whirl, leaving the viewer with an overall kaleidoscopic impression that contrasts heavily with the absolute stillness of the custodian’s wife lying on the floor in the next cell and the dancer’s eventual collapse. As she lies on the floor, we first see toe prints of blood surrounding her feet, but the film quickly cuts to a shot of her torso and face, which we see clearly for the first time, crossed by parallel shadows of prison bars at a perpendicular angle to the floorboards. These shots segment the dancer’s body in a similar way to the torn pieces of her photograph on the wall. She slowly opens her eyes to gaze abstractly into the distance. Moments later, she rises slowly with her arm outstretched and hair covering her face, and her hysterical “practice of joy before death” recommences.58 The dancer reappears in the middle of the film, when the custodian’s wife stops outside the dancer’s cell to watch her. The wife rouses from her habitual state of stillness and insensibility as she hallucinates that the dancer is wearing a flowing costume. She wildly claps and cheers, attracting the attention of other inmates who rush into the hallway in front of the dancer’s cell as nurses try to stop the ensuing uproar. From inside the dancer’s cell we see her


Georges Bataille quoted in Didi-Huberman, 269. !21

movement escalate from whirling to jumping back and forth, which the camera follows with the swinging motion of a pendulum. Inmates outside hallucinate various dances and costumes, and the male inmates visible through the bars of her cell door become sexually frenzied. The dancer’s hands repeatedly strike upward in a jump toward the crowd pressed against her bars before she swings back with another jump against the opposing wall. Her gesture is similar to that in the opening sequence of repeatedly striking her own photograph. The camera cuts to the unruly crowd outside her cell, which soon becomes a veritable riot with tangles of waving arms and pushing bodies shot from above. The dancer continues her hysterics in the background of the following eye-level shot, framed through the bars of her cell door. At this point, a European doctor bearing a remarkable resemblance to a younger version of Charcot appears for the only time to help subdue the contagious frenzy, which takes several minutes to disperse. It takes two nurses to wrestle the dancer into submission as she swings her hair and legs back and forth. The movement of the crowd and dancer in this scene recalls aspects of Vaslov Nijinsky’s choreography for Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and the ensuing riot of the Parisian audience that took place during its 1913 debut, as well as the historical and contagious dancing malady, Saint Vitus Dance. Tokyo experienced its own dancing and suicide crazes simultaneously in 1933, the year almost a thousand people jumped into a volcanic crater in Tokyo Prefecture, and “Tokyo Ondo” (“Tokyo Dance”) became a hit song to which large crowds danced publicly and disruptively, to the point of stopping traffic in parts of Tokyo. The police alternately attempted to break up the dancers, as they did in Hibiya Park, or protect them, as in


Asakusa, the entertainment district where Minami danced as a chorus girl. Where traffic was blocked, however, “the police were powerless either to disperse or to protect.”59 Upon successfully subduing the riot in the asylum, the rhythm of the film returns to a more sustainable pace. The dancer’s hands and feet are bound to prevent further dancing, like the straightjackets used at the Salpêtrière to constrain the hysterical contortions of the clownism phase of an attack of grande hystérie. Once again lying on the floor of her cell, the dancer despairingly clutches her bound hands to her chest with an expression of anguish. She soon reappears twirling in a festive dress, albeit still in her cell, in a brief shot used to transition between the custodian’s daydream of winning a festival lottery prize for his daughter and seeing the custodian laughing in his apartment in the asylum. However, this shot may be understood as a fantasy reinforcing the custodian’s daydream, as the dancer is shown once again in distress, still bound on the floor of her cell. The latter portion of the film is dominated by the custodian’s attempt to free his unwilling wife from the asylum and his surreal fantasies following this unsuccessful venture. The dancer is not seen again until nearly the end of the film, in the custodian’s final daydream. He carries a basket full of nō masks with gently smiling expressions. He laughs and places masks on the faces of three male inmates, who immediately become calm, and then passes them out to a group of female inmates, including his wife, who also becomes happy and peaceful upon donning her mask. Before placing a happy ko-jo (old man) mask on himself, the custodian looks at the dancer. She is still dancing quickly but more gently than usual in a reminiscently tarantella fashion, wearing her happy nō mask. 59

Edward Seidensticker, Tokyo Rising: The City Since the Great Earthquake (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), 36–37. Quote on 37. !23

These masks would be immediately recognizable to a Japanese audience. Nō is a classical Japanese dance-based drama associated with the elite—in contrast to the more popular dancebased kabuki drama—and emphasizes traditional and codified modes of representation. Emotions are conveyed through conventional gestures, with masks denoting roles and character traits like gender, age, and social rank. It would be highly unexpected and nontraditional to see ostensibly lower-class asylum inmates wearing nō masks en masse, even though the film could be understood to bear relation to two types of nō drama: kyōran mono, or “madness pieces,” concerning “tragically insane protagonists”60; and mugen nō, or “dream vision play,” in which narratives may be nonlinear and appear as dreamlike experiences.61 The end of the film exits the custodian’s daydream to return to quotidian activities in the asylum. The custodian mops the floor, inmates are taken for walks outside, and a doctor and nurse do rounds. They stop in front of the dancer’s cell, who is again whirling hysterically. She pauses to look at the doctor and nurse, but her hair blocks her face from our view. Reaching out her hand, she gestures theatrically and steps forward as if to invite them into her cell, and they walk away. The dancer brushes her hair back from her face while sliding back a step, but her face remains in shadow. The custodian returns to his duties while more inmates are taken for a walk, and the film fades to black. ——— Beyond historical genealogies and probable cultural influences, what links hysteria, dance, photography, and film? A simple answer is time. Each “has a privileged relation to time,” 60

Benito Ortolani, The Japanese Theatre: From Shamanistic Ritual to Contemporary Pluralism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995 [1990]), 133, 292. 61 Royall Tyler, “The Waki-Shite Relationship in Nō,” in Nō and Kyōgen in the Contemporary World, 65–90, ed. James R. Brandon (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1997), 75. Also see Ortolani, 132, 294. !24

to quote film theorist Laura Mulvey: “The cinema (like photography) has a privileged relation to time, preserving the moment at which the image is registered…Both have the attributes of the indexical sign, the mark of trauma or the mark of light, and both need to be deciphered retrospectively across delayed time.”62 Mulvey’s observation, familiar enough in a post-Camera Lucida world,63 draws attention to the temporal delay between the latent exposure and developed photographic or cinematographic image in the days before digital media. The same may be said metaphorically of hysteria, especially as conceived by Breuer and Freud as having a psychical basis in repressed traumatic memories: In traumatic neuroses the operative cause of the illness is not the trifling physical injury but the affect of fright—the psychical trauma. In an analogous manner, our investigations reveal, for many, if not for most, hysterical symptoms, precipitating causes which can only be described as psychical traumas. Any experience which calls up distressing affects—such as those of fright, anxiety, shame or physical pain—may operate as a trauma of this kind…


But the causal relation between the determining psychical trauma and the hysterical phenomenon is not of a kind implying that the trauma merely acts like an agent provocateur in releasing the symptom, which thereafter leads an independent existence. We must presume that the psychical trauma—or more precisely the memory of the trauma—acts like a foreign body which long after its entry must continue to be regarded as an agent that is still at work…64


In Studies on Hysteria, Breuer and Freud note two temporal issues at work: 1) Traumatic hysteria does not result from the traumatic event itself, but the distressing affect experienced during the event, the memory of which continues to operate within the sufferer well after the event, leading Breuer and Freud to comment that “Hysterics suffer mainly from reminiscences.”65 2) They also 62

Laura Mulvey, Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (London: Reaktion, 2006), 9. Quoted in Luckhurst, 149. 63 See Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981). 64 Breuer and Freud, 5–6. 65 Ibid., 7. !25

note a period of latency between the traumatic event, which is split from consciousness and repressed, and its conversion into the physical manifestation of hysterical symptoms, which are resolved through conscious remembrance of the trauma with the accompanying affect, that is, “when the patient had described that event in the greatest possible detail and had put the affect into words.”66 The problem with traumatic memories is not that they are repressed and “forgotten” but that they continue to work within the patient, being all too present.67 If traumatic memories operate photographically, as charged moments frozen and unchanging in memory, then hysterical attacks operate cinematographically, replaying the traumatic event and associated affects in the hysteric’s mind, which she unconsciously expresses externally through a cyclical sequence of bodily performances. Didi-Huberman references the rhythm and timing of attacks of grande hystérie:


Deleria were timed. Count Augustine’s at your leisure: 18 seconds of “threat,” then ten seconds of “call”; now 14 seconds of “lubricity,” 24 of “ecstasy,” 22 of “rats” (meaning visions of rats—[Paul] Richer no longer took the trouble to distinguish between perception of reality and hallucinatory perception), and 19 seconds of “military music”; then, suddenly, 13 seconds of “insolence” followed by 23 of “lamentation,” and so on.68

The choreography of Augustine’s body, including her breath, was measured and recorded by “‘graphic methods’ à la Marey.”69 She was even known to lose color vision, seeing only in black and white when her photograph was taken.70 Like cinema and theater, dancing is a temporal medium. The image of a dancer passes into memory even as the action unfolds in time, relying upon the viewer to superimpose the 66

Ibid., 6. Also see 9, 166–167. Ibid., 9. 68 Didi-Huberman, 179. Didi-Huberman is referencing Paul Richer, Etudes cliniques sur la grande hystérie ou hystérie-épilepse, 2nd ed. (Paris: Delahaye & Lecrosnier, 1881–1885), 96–97, 139. 69 Ibid., 179. Illustration of pheumographic inscription of Augustine’s breathing during an attack on 180 (Figure 68). 70 Ibid., 110. 67


memory of the immediate past onto the present in order to understand the structure and meaning of the performance as continuous. A contemporary reviewer of A Page of Madness wrote that ““a dancing girl becomes like the pendulum of a clock.”71 She becomes an inconsistent metronome, setting and changing the pace of the film and creating continuity and connection among disparate scenes, associative montage, surreal visual effects, flashbacks, and fantasy. Moving between memory and performance, the dancer strikes the torn photograph on her cell wall, contrasting in black and white her furious movement to the stillness of her image. 


Tanaka Jun-ichirō, “Hyōgen shugi no eiga” (“An Expressionist Film”), newspaper review of A Page of Madness in Hōchi shinbun, 23 June 1926: 4. Translated by and reprinted in Gerow, 104–105. !27

Bibliography Borch-Jacobsen, Mikkel. “How to Predict the Past: From Trauma to Repression.” Translated by Douglas Brick. History of Psychiatry 11 (2000): 15–35. DOI: 10.1177/0957154X0001104102.


Breuer, Josef, and Sigmund Freud. Studies on Hysteria [1893–1895]. Translated from the German and edited by James Strachey with the collaboration of Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. Basic Books, 2000 [Hogarth Press, 1955; 1895].


Cohen, Robert. “A Page of Madness by Teinosuke Kinugasa.” Film Quarterly 29:4 (Summer, 1976): 47–51.


Dayan, Jacques and Bertrand Olliac. “From Hysteria and Shell Shock to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Comments on Psychoanalytic and Neuropsychological Approaches.” Journal of Physiology—Paris 104 (2010): 296–302. DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2010.09.003.


Didi-Huberman, Georges. The Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière. Translated from the French by Alisa Hartz. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 2003 [1982].


Fodor, Nandor, and Frank Gaynor (editors). Freud: Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1958.

! Furse, Anna. Augustine (Big Hysteria). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997. !

Gardner, William. “New Perceptions: Kinugasa Teinosuke’s Films and Japanese Modernism,” Cinema Journal 43:3 (Spring, 2004): 59–78. DOI: 10.1353/cj.2004.0017.


Gerow, Aaron. A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2008.

! Hayward, Susan. Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. London and New York: Routledge, 2006. !

Healy, David. Images of Trauma: From Hysteria to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1993.


Jones, Edgar, Robert Hodgins Vermaas, Helen McCartney, Charlotte Beech, Ian Palmer, Kenneth Hyams, and Simon Wessely, “Flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder: the genesis of a 20th-century diagnosis,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 182 (2003): 158–163.


Kawabata, Yasunari. The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa. Originally published as Asakusa kurenaidan (Senshinsha, 1930). Translated with preface and notes by Alisa Freedman. Foreword and !28


afterword by Donald Richie. Illustrated by Ōta Saburō. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2005.

Kinugasa, Teinosuke. Kinugasa Teinosuke’s A Crazy Page and Crossroads. Translated from the Japanese by D.A. Rajakaruna. Sri Lanka: Kandy Offset Printers Ltd, 1998.


Kolb, Alexandra. Performing Femininity: Dance and Literature in German Modernism. Bern: Peter Lang AG, 2009.

! Luckhurst, Roger. The Trauma Question. London and New York: Routledge, 2008. !

Marx, Henry. “Madeleine: Two Reviews.” The Drama Review 22:2, Occult and Bizarre Issue (June 1978): 27–31. www.jstor.org/stable/1145200.


Ortolani, Benito. The Japanese Theatre: From Shamanistic Ritual to Contemporary Pluralism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995 [1990].


Peirce, Charles Sanders. “Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs” (c. 1897-1910). In Philosophical Writings of Peirce, 98–119. Edited by Justus Buchler. New York: Dover, 1955.


Peterson, James. “A War of Utter Rebellion: Kinugasa’s Page of Madness and the Japanese Avant-Garde of the 1920s.” Cinema Journal 29:1 (Autumn, 1989): 36–53. www.jstor.org/ stable/1225300


Richie, Donald. Foreword. The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, ix–. By Kawabata Yasunari. Originally published as Asakusa kurenaidan (Senshinsha, 1930). Translated with preface and notes by Alisa Freedman. Foreword and afterword by Donald Richie. Illustrated by Ōta Saburō. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2005.


Seidensticker, Edward. Tokyo Rising: The City Since the Great Earthquake. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.


Sharp, Jasper. “A Page of Madness.” Article and interview with Mariann Lewinsky. Midnight Eye. 7 March 2002. Accessed 2 Dec. 2014. www.midnighteye.com/features/a-page-ofmadness/.


Showalter, Elaine. Foreword. Augustine (Big Hysteria), xv–xvi. By Anna Furse. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1997.


——. Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.



Sicard, Monique. “La femme hystérique : émergence d’une représentation.” In Communication et languages 127 (1st trimester, 2001): 35–49. DOI: 10.3406/colan.2001.3059.


Silverberg, Miriam. Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2006.


Tyler, Royall. “The Waki-Shite Relationship in Nō.” In Nō and Kyōgen in the Contemporary World, 65–90. Edited by James R. Brandon. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1997.


Didi-Huberman, Invention of Hysteria, 118–119

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Didi-Huberman, Invention of Hysteria, 120–121


Didi-Huberman, Invention of Hysteria, 145, 147

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Didi-Huberman, Invention of Hysteria, 195

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Didi-Huberman, Invention of Hysteria, 222, 267


Didi-Huberman, Invention of Hysteria, 228–229


Madeleine G. Painting: “Madeleine Guipet in Trance” by Albert von Keller, 1904


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Bottom: Hexentanz (Witch Dance), 1926

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Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Opening sequence


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Opening sequence: torn photograph


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Opening sequence: torn photograph


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Opening sequence: collapse


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Opening sequence: rising



Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Middle sequence: riot


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Middle sequence: riot, subduing dancer and European doctor


Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893)

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Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Middle sequence: bound after riot and custodian’s daydream


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Final dream sequence: nō masks


Kinugasa Teinosuke, A Page of Madness, 1926 Final shots of the dancer


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