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Sat, Oct 28


Epsilon Spires

A PAGE OF MADNESS w/ Music by The Anvil Orchestra

The very first Japanese Horror film and one of the few Japanese silents to survive WWII, this visionary surrealist fever-dream is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. With a dynamic live soundtrack by The Anvil Orchestra: Roger Clark Miller (Mission of Burma) and Terry Donahue (Alloy Orchestra)!

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A PAGE OF MADNESS w/ Music by The Anvil Orchestra
A PAGE OF MADNESS w/ Music by The Anvil Orchestra

Time & Location

Oct 28, 2023, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

A PAGE OF MADNESS (Dir. Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926, 73 mins). 

One of the rare Japanese silents to survive WWII, this film is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Set in an insane asylum, it’s often difficult to tell if the viewer is seeing through the inmates’ or the caretakers’ eyes, or if a division between the two even exists. A surrealist visual treat matched only by our adventurous improvisational musician’s willingness to follow the film where-ever it leads. The film's art direction was co-designed with members of the Japanese avant-garde movement called Shinkankakuha (which means "school of new perceptions"). The director's interest in exploring the subject of subjective reality and mental illness stemmed from a visit to a mental hospital and a chance encounter with the reigning emperor Yoshihito, who, rumored to be mentally ill, was generally kept away from the public eye. After it's initial celebrated release the film was lost for over 45 years, and later found by the director himself, randomly unearthed in the basement of his warehouse in 1971. 


"Ultimately, it may be the best—that is, the most fascinating and the most terrifying—madhouse movie ever made and makes all other efforts at visualizing the subjective experience of mental and emotional disarray look childish and campy by comparison. The feeling of A Page of Madness is of being exposed to a secret cinema, a covert subconsciousness-caught-in-amber history of movies, happening beneath the culture we thought we knew, perhaps while we sleep. There are, thank God, still mysteries to unearth in the forgotten closets of the world, and still unknown movie experiences that seem to have come out of nowhere."- 

Michael Atkinson -San Francisco Silent Film Festival 

"Playing on a continual discordance between subjective and objective reality, using superimpositions, rapid and insistent visual patterns and overlapping fantasy sequences, A Page of Madness builds an atmosphere of astonishing intensity. Since the vast majority of Japanese films from the silent era are lost, the existence of a film as unusual and important is a real stroke of luck. With its bold and striking visual style and its close connections to the most progressive thinking about film of its day, it's no wonder that A Page of Madness has become one of the most discussed and debated of Japanese films."-Chris Fujiwara, Ebertfest

About the Anvil Orchestra

Talented musicians, composers, and arrangers, Miller and Donahue have performed individually and collectively in celebrated music and art festivals as well as preeminent cultural institutions around the globe. These include SNF Nostos Festival in Athens, Greece; IDFA in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Lincoln Center (NYC); Pordenone Silent Film Festival (Italy); The Academy of Motion Pictures (Los Angeles); The Louvre (France); The San Francisco Silent Film Festival (S.F.); MASS MoCA (Massachusetts); National Gallery of the Arts (Washington DC); The Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston, MA); New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA); The Telluride Film Festival (Colorado); and All Tomorrow’s Parties (international), among others. This will be their return to Epsilon Spires, after performing a live score to the German Expressionist masterpiece: The Cabinet of Dr Calagari at our venue in 2022.

Terry Donahue grew up in Connecticut and has long been fascinated by “found sound”. This curiosity has led him to be an integral part of Boston’s percussion scene as a founding member of the Concussion Ensemble, Alloy Orchestra, Zero Zero, and Arcade Ambo. He plucks his 4-string in country music in a country setting in his country home in Bennington, VT.

“Terry Donahue’s list of accomplishments could fill a whole book, but let’s just say his musical partners have ranged from Roger Miller to Ottmar Liebert (The New Age Flamenco King).” said Jon Bonni (The Pit Report, 1993).

Roger Clark Miller studied composition at California Institute of the Arts and piano at the University of Michigan. In 1979, he moved to Boston and co-formed Mission of Burma. Since 1980 he has released over 50 albums, ranging from the aggressive avant-punk of Burma to piano-based music of Maximum Electric Piano, The Binary System and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. His chamber music has been performed at the New England Conservatory, Tufts University, and other venues.

Miller is also a conceptual/sound artist. His first art installation in this direction, “Transmuting the Prosaic”, was at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, VT from March 15 – October 12, 2020. He is also a visual artist utilizing Max Ernst’s Frottage technique, and has been in numerous shows. In addition to The Anvil Orchestra, Miller is currently active in Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric GuitarThe Fourth World Quartet, M2, The Trinary System, and his chamber music.



    Admission for one to PAGE OF MADNESS w/ Music by The Anvil Orchestra. Tricks and Treats will be provided! Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

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  • Sliding-Scale Ticket

    General Admission Tickets for this event are $20. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, subsidized tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship. In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by sliding scale. Taking equity and inclusion into account, please pay what you can to help support the artists and venue.

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    I would like to add a donation to my ticket to express my support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work!

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