Audition (20th Anniversary)
AUDITION was the turn-of-the-millenium flash point signaling the talent of Takashi Miike: a film artist twice as prolific as Fassbinder, a provocateur as multifaceted as Von Trier and a genre-bender as bent as David Lynch. Shocking arthouses worldwide with its white-knuckle finale and ingeniously Sirkian slow-burn leadup, AUDITION trailblazed a fresh Asian horror wave across American screens for which we’re eternally grateful.
Recent widower Shigeharu is advised by his son to find a new wife. On the advice of a film company colleague, they stage “auditions” for a new girlfriend that masquerade as an acting job. Shigeharu becomes enchanted with Asami: a spooky twentysomething responsive to his charms. But this is no ordinary FATAL ATTRACTION-style thriller, for it carefully pulls the audience through a wrenching exploration of deep male fears and the stereotype of submissive Japanese women. (1999, Takashi Miike, Japan, Japanese with English subtitles, 115 min, R, DCP)
“Along with PSYCHO, AUDITION is one of the great gearshift movies, starting out as one thing and then transitioning on a dime into something else entirely.” — Scott Tobais, AV Club
“A diabolically adroit piece of filmmaking that goes even further than the films of Italy’s excruciatingly macabre Dario Argento.” — Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“It gnaws on your mind like a famished larva, and you can fully expect to have a rough time of it later, when you close your eyes and try to sleep.” — Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle