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Odishon

Audition

Japan 1999
produced by
Satoshi Fukushima, Akemi Suyama, Toyoyuki Yokohama (executive) for Omega Project, Creators Company Connection, Basara Pictures
directed by Takashi Miike
starring Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji Ishibashi, Miyuki Matsuda, Toshie Negishi, Ren Osugi, Shigeru Saiki, Ken Mitsuishi, Yuriko Hirooka, Fumiyo Kohinata, Misato Nakamura, Yuuto Arima, Ayaka Izumi, Nattsu Tanabashi, Kimiko Tachibana, Tatsuo Endo, Koshio Jindoji, Kanji Tsuda, Party, Takako Kato, Saori Tachibana, Sugimura Yoko, Yayoi Otsu
screenplay by Daisuke Tengan, based on the novel by Ryu Murakami, music by Koji Endo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Having been a widower for over a decade, even his son Shigehiko (Tetsu Sawaki) suggests to Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) to marry again. But being rather on the shy side it's not that easy for Aoyama to pick up girls, so his friend Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) suggests to him to hold a bogus audition for a movie to find the right girl for him ... and the plan really works, as Aoyama pretty much at first sight falls in love with sad but angelic, maybe even ethereal Asami (Eihi Shiina), and when he starts dating her it seems that she's sharing his feelings. Amidst his newfound happiness, Aoyama grows deaf for his friend Yoshikawa's warnings, who suspects something seriously wrong with Asami, as a bunch of people from her past have disappeared or met horrible deaths ... 

After Aoyama and Asami have sex for the first time though, she disappears without a trace. Aoyama is heart-broken, but decides he won't give up on Asami - but the clues he has to her life are few and far between, and when he finally tracks down the bar she has claimed to work at, he finds out it has been closed for over a year, due to its owner having been found murdered and dismembered. After some more clues lead to nothing but grotesqueries as well, Aoyama returns home, more depressed than ever, drinks his whiskey ... and passes out, since (as the audience knows) his drink was drugged. Waking up again after a drug-induced nightmare full of violence, desire and guilt, Aoyama finds Asami right next to him - which would be heaven, had not Asami paralized him with the express intention (and all the right tools) to torture him to death ...

 

Most of Takashi Miike's output from the late 90s/early 2000s is characterized by hyperkinetic action, over-the-top-violence and relying on comicbook-exaggerations, often paced at breakneck speed. Audition on the other hand is a whole different affair altogether, working on a deliberate slow pace - considering both editing and storytelling -, being almost devoid of action, dealing with a serious story in a serious and sensible way, relying heavily on a brooding atmosphere that's only gradually building up tension, and saving all the over-the-top-violence until the third act of the movie ... and as a matter of fact, Miike is doing great at that, making Audition to this very day his probably most disturbing and nightmare inducing film, and a piece of horror cinema that really gets under one's skin.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD