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AUDITION

Japan, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Regional Focus)

Director: Takashi Miike

"Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama is invited to sit in on auditions for an actress. Leafing through the resumes in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking young woman with ballet training. On the day of the audition, she's the last person they see. Aoyama is hooked. After a dinner date Aoyama calls Asami. She's alone in her darkened room—alone, that is, apart from the writhing victim she has tied up in a sack on the floor... If I told you any more about the plot of Audition it would spoil a number of seriously macabre surprises. This is an extreme psycho-thriller featuring scarred thighs, home addresses which turn out to have been boarded up for years, drugged whisky, piano wire and some terrifying time-slips. It's written for the screen by Imamura Shohei's (The Eel, MIFF 1998) son Tengan Daisuke. It's superbly photographed by Yamamoto Hideo, who shot Hana-Bi (MIFF 1998) and Ring 2. And it's calculated to make you think twice about everything from ballet lessons to paranoid nightmares."—Tony Rayns


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