"Jujiro" is a silent film in more ways than one. The story of a young man whose delusions, first of love then of blindness, lead his supportive sister to dire sacrifice and peril, long stretches are literally silent, he or she alone on screen or silent with a landlord or some such, communicating with us only by gesture or choreography or simply by position within Kinugasa's expressionist sets. Though with a vivid imagination you could watch it with no sound at all, for most a lot will depend on the accompaniment. This year's SFIFF destroyed Kinugasa's other silent wonder "Page of Madness" by letting indie band Superchunk play behind it an electric, mostly electric guitar, score not even keyed to the screen action. Miya Masaoka and Ensemble, with koto, a mix of mostly traditional-sounding percussion, I think a sax, and just once, briefly, a voice, backing "Jujiro" at the PFA, came much closer to the mark.
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