VIDEODROOM 2023 opens with a bang: a unique film project by Belgian black metal band Wiegedood. The trio - Levy Seynaeve (vocals, guitar), Wim Coppers (drums) and Gilles Demolder (guitar) - is internationally known for their rabid music and have a rock-solid live reputation. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, they will play an all-new soundtrack to the Japanese silent film A Page of Madness (1926), a long-lost masterpiece set in a mental institution.
About the film
A silent horror film by director Teinosuke Kinugasa (1896-1982), A Page of Madness (1926) is one of the most stunning, baffling and radical experiments in the history of Japanese cinema, even nearly 100 years after its premiere. The plot: an old sailor works as a janitor in a mental institution so he can be with his wife, who is one of the patients. After she attempts suicide, he tries to free her from the institution.
The film relies primarily on Kinugasa's creative talent: the director explores and pushes the boundaries of what was cinematically possible in the 1920s. Through distortions and extremely stylized imagery, he immerses his audience in a world of madness. The dramatic shock effects and complex double images make the film a visual feast: a guard opens a barred door and the bars remain; a nervous tracking shot through the hallway is superimposed on top of a tracking shot in the opposite direction; memories are seen through the hazy windows of hallucinations. The interpretations also contribute to the alienating atmosphere: all the actors were part of an avant-garde theater company.
About the band
Belgian black metal pride Wiegedood presented their latest record There's Always Blood At The End Of The Road in a sold-out Ballroom at De Vooruit last year. Four years after the 'De Doden Hebben Het Goed' trilogy, dedicated to the much too soon deceased Kabul Golf Club frontman Florent Pevée, the new record focuses on the most disgusting sides of man and society. Because, in their own opinion, "The essence of black metal is to capture the chaos of the world and the complexity of life."
Staying away from the typical black metal themes, they zoom in on the internal struggle we all face to transcend all manner of horror. This takes them into a completely different realm both musically and lyrically. The band calls the record a "dark turn" toward the unexpected and unwelcome. What that sounds like? Like a psychotic ride full of spooky synths, hot club jazz and unsettling samples.
Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Teinosuke Kinugasa, Yasunari Kawabata, Minoru Inuzuka, Bankô Sawada