Audition [Blu-Ray] Takashi Miike

Audition [Blu-Ray] Takashi Miike
Back in 1999 when Audition was debuting at various film festivals, whispers began about lines forming at exits while the movie played, audiences fleeing in droves. Even horror directors like Rob Zombie stated he found it an incredibly harrowing film to watch. Naturally, it has become a cult film of the highest order. While Japanese director Takashi Miike has become renowned for blood-splattered films like Ichi The Killer, he can also show remarkable subtlety. When he brings them together, as he does in Audition, he's at his most effective. Convinced by his son to start dating again, recent widower Shigeharu Aoyama (played by Ryo Ishibashi) attempts to find a new companion by holding a fake casting audition for a film. He falls for one of the would-be actresses, Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina), and despite warnings from a friend, he contacts her and they begin dating. As their relationship develops, she confesses that she was abused before abruptly disappearing. Aoyama attempts to locate her using her resume and discovers that her issues go deeper than he initially thought, which is somewhat of an understatement. The gradual shift in mood is jarring and when things take a turn for the worse it's hard to believe that this is the same movie that started with the solemn scenes in the hospital. Some of Audition's effectiveness has been lost, as the twist is well known by now. Plus, films like Saw and Hostel have upped the ante for gruesomeness in horror movies, but there's no denying that it's still a great film, one that Miike has yet to better. The transition to Blu-Ray hasn't been particularly kind to Audition, but that's most likely due to the quality of the original print. There's a graininess that adds to the starkness of the subject matter and chances are this is probably as good as it is going to get. Miike and screenwriter Daisuke Tengan provide a subtitled commentary track, which is the sole extra on the first disc. Tengan is the chattier of the two, with Miike being rather restrained. The second disc, which is a DVD, contains 75 minutes of interviews with the cast reminiscing about making the film and two trailers. The interviews manage to find the middle ground between interesting and bland. It's a rather disappointing collection of extras for a hugely influential movie that deserves better. (Shout! Factory)