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"Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

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"Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Old 09-22-19, 11:04 PM
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"Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge





Audition (1999)



Selected by Darth Maher


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2019 DISCUSSION | 2019 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-20-19 at 03:47 PM.
Old 10-20-19, 09:59 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Not on Shudder anymore fwiw.
Old 10-20-19, 11:56 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

One of my favorite films.
Old 10-22-19, 12:33 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

This is on sale at iTunes for $3.99 (HD).

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/id1097351799
Old 10-22-19, 10:23 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I've always told people that they have to get through the first half or so. It really does start off slow, despite a few crazy flashes, but I think it adds to the overall impact of the film. It sort of lulls you into complacency until things get really intense. The ending really does make my skin crawl.
Old 10-22-19, 11:36 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Audition might be the best subset film this year. Not only is it intense but it's a rich film with a lot to think about.

A few intentionally odd elements, like the piano teacher or the extra fingers and tongue at a murder, that donít stick content wise but wretched up the tone. Theyíre dumb if you think about it, but so far out itís what Ďmakesí the movie straddling between fantasy and reality to land somewhere in between. Revealing what may be a backstory through hallucination is brilliant. We donít entirely know what is real or not, if there really is a strange piano guy with no feet or if thatís just thematic foreshadowing by hallucination. He is maybe a ghostly reflection of social anxieties more than a person; as is much of the film.
Originally Posted by clckworang
I've always told people that they have to get through the first half or so. It really does start off slow, despite a few crazy flashes, but I think it adds to the overall impact of the film. It sort of lulls you into complacency until things get really intense. The ending really does make my skin crawl.
I love the ending, it's possible everyone watching it might 'get' different things from it. The ending suggests weíre watching the same dinner scene play out again and again stylized from different perspectives magnifying anxieties and hopes in a gleefully tense way and revisiting different ways it could end and the discussion could happen. The ambiguity of the female is amazing Ė she seems innocent but at the same time thereís so much gore and anxiety projected onto her that itís hard to say if she is the murderous vixen we see in the sceneís most intense scenes or if the guy is the one with crippling guilt following the death of his wife that he tortures himself with her (mentally).
Old 10-22-19, 03:17 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Eh, while I don't think was a bad film, per say, I don't think it's something suited to my tastes. Glad I watched it, but I didn't really get anything out of it.
Old 10-22-19, 05:48 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Trevor
Not on Shudder anymore fwiw.
Shit. I was going to watch this tonight... on Shudder.
Old 10-22-19, 11:16 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

ALYXSTARR to the rescue! Thanks!

It was better than I expected it to be. I thought it would be pretty much torture porn all the way through. I'm glad there was some story in there too.
Old 10-23-19, 12:10 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I don't always enjoy foreign films but this one was pretty good, the conclusion was especially good.
Old 10-23-19, 02:43 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

The punishment is much worse than the crime!

This one has been in rotation for the past 3 years, and I do really enjoy it. Before I'm done watching, I feel a great bit of sympathy towards both characters.
Old 10-23-19, 02:50 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I think it's unfortunate that this film is primarily known for its final twenty minutes, but it actually has a lot more depth and nuance than many people acknowledge. There's a definite elegance and sincerity to the direction of the film, the editing is interesting and at times intentionally disorienting, and the music gradually shifts from quietly melodic to sinister. One of the smartest things the film does is make the protagonist so likeable, but the more I view the film, the more I find the audition process to be skeevy. Some complain that the humorous tone of the audition sequence feels out of place with the rest of the film, but I disagree, it's important to the themes of the film. That sequence is making the audience complicit in the scheme because we find it amusing and we think: "wow, some of these girls are weird" when we should be thinking about how manipulative and degrading the actual experience is.

I find the film to be very thought-provoking, especially in a post "Me-Too" climate. This film makes me think about relationships between men and women, power dynamics in relationships, the nature of honesty and manipulation. Before me too I probably never saw Asami as very sympathetic, and I felt sorry for Aoyoma, who seems like a nice guy just trying to find love. One question I always ask myself: Did Asami really want to love and have a relationship with Aoyoma? Or was she basically setting a trap for him? After last night's viewing I think it's a combination. I think her trauma and abuse makes it impossible for her to trust men ever again, and society's pressure for women to be with men convinces her that she needs love to be happy. She's going to continue to search for it, but her perception of healthy relationships is forever ruined.

I think the way she tortures Aoyoma, and the music producer in the sack, is mirror to the degradation she faced by men when she was a child, and then again during the Audition. The concept of parading women around to ask personal questions and size up their attributes is pretty degrading, but the film intentionally makes the sequence funny. Because the men in this scene don't even understand that it might be degrading to the women, they're lacking the empathy to understand the discomfort of this situation from the women's perspective. Asami helps Aoyoma understand the feeling of being degraded by someone who holds more power. Considering that Japan treats men with much more respect, I think there's a lot of interesting stuff to think about in this film.

I also love the dream sequences. Once Aoyoma is drugged he goes back to his first and second dates with Asami. This time they play out with honesty. First dates are sort of an audition, you're getting to know someone by presenting your more desirable features/traits. There's a sort of innocent deception at play there. During the "dream" sequence Asami answers his questions with full honestly, talking about her abuse and depression, during the real date earlier in the movie she answers those questions vaguely, saying she doesn't see her family much. Can we as people be 100% honest and open with people? Are we so conditioned to white lies?

It's interesting how almost every shot of the film is framed in ways that isolate the characters. Aoyoma's friend works for a movie studio in a city, but all of the shots feature him alone in his office. Shots on a city street feature extra blurred out in the background while Aoyoma and Asami are the only ones in focus. Loneliness is a big theme in this film, and it makes us do strange things. I don't think Aoyoma is a bad person, he's a product of his society, which doesn't treat women as well as they should. Let's face it, Asami should be out of his league. I find it interesting that there are 2-3 scenes where women closer to his age show interest in him, and he seems oblivious. His maid and one of his employees, he clearly had a one night fling with the latter, at several points in the movie they seem flirtatious and he either doesn't recognize it, or brushes them off because his attention is on a woman in her 20s.

I wish I could compose all of my thoughts on this movie but this is the best I can throw together on my lunch break. Excellent film.
Old 10-23-19, 03:37 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe
I think it's unfortunate that this film is primarily known for its final twenty minutes, but it actually has a lot more depth and nuance than many people acknowledge. There's a definite elegance and sincerity to the direction of the film, the editing is interesting and at times intentionally disorienting, and the music gradually shifts from quietly melodic to sinister. One of the smartest things the film does is make the protagonist so likeable, but the more I view the film, the more I find the audition process to be skeevy. Some complain that the humorous tone of the audition sequence feels out of place with the rest of the film, but I disagree, it's important to the themes of the film. That sequence is making the audience complicit in the scheme because we find it amusing and we think: "wow, some of these girls are weird" when we should be thinking about how manipulative and degrading the actual experience is.

I find the film to be very thought-provoking, especially in a post "Me-Too" climate. This film makes me think about relationships between men and women, power dynamics in relationships, the nature of honesty and manipulation. Before me too I probably never saw Asami as very sympathetic, and I felt sorry for Aoyoma, who seems like a nice guy just trying to find love. One question I always ask myself: Did Asami really want to love and have a relationship with Aoyoma? Or was she basically setting a trap for him? After last night's viewing I think it's a combination. I think her trauma and abuse makes it impossible for her to trust men ever again, and society's pressure for women to be with men convinces her that she needs love to be happy. She's going to continue to search for it, but her perception of healthy relationships is forever ruined.

I think the way she tortures Aoyoma, and the music producer in the sack, is mirror to the degradation she faced by men when she was a child, and then again during the Audition. The concept of parading women around to ask personal questions and size up their attributes is pretty degrading, but the film intentionally makes the sequence funny. Because the men in this scene don't even understand that it might be degrading to the women, they're lacking the empathy to understand the discomfort of this situation from the women's perspective. Asami helps Aoyoma understand the feeling of being degraded by someone who holds more power. Considering that Japan treats men with much more respect, I think there's a lot of interesting stuff to think about in this film.

I also love the dream sequences. Once Aoyoma is drugged he goes back to his first and second dates with Asami. This time they play out with honesty. First dates are sort of an audition, you're getting to know someone by presenting your more desirable features/traits. There's a sort of innocent deception at play there. During the "dream" sequence Asami answers his questions with full honestly, talking about her abuse and depression, during the real date earlier in the movie she answers those questions vaguely, saying she doesn't see her family much. Can we as people be 100% honest and open with people? Are we so conditioned to white lies?

It's interesting how almost every shot of the film is framed in ways that isolate the characters. Aoyoma's friend works for a movie studio in a city, but all of the shots feature him alone in his office. Shots on a city street feature extra blurred out in the background while Aoyoma and Asami are the only ones in focus. Loneliness is a big theme in this film, and it makes us do strange things. I don't think Aoyoma is a bad person, he's a product of his society, which doesn't treat women as well as they should. Let's face it, Asami should be out of his league. I find it interesting that there are 2-3 scenes where women closer to his age show interest in him, and he seems oblivious. His maid and one of his employees, he clearly had a one night fling with the latter, at several points in the movie they seem flirtatious and he either doesn't recognize it, or brushes them off because his attention is on a woman in her 20s.

I wish I could compose all of my thoughts on this movie but this is the best I can throw together on my lunch break. Excellent film.
Yes, there really is a lot here DavyJoe. I've been running out of steam, and had something more lengthy written, but just didn't want to work too hard on it, so I just wrote a sentence.... lol

I see the finale as Asami saying 'see me now' (as she's putting pins in his eyes), over the kind of idealized/objectified woman Aoyama is looking for. I was listening to the Arrow commentary by some academic and it was really very interesting. There's also Miike's commentary, which I may give a listen to next year. He was talking about Asami's posture being shot from the same perspective and angle in most of her scenes (waiting on the phone, at the actual audition, etc). I got to get back to movies, but I could really write for an hour on some of your points.

I've started to question if he didn't imagine most of the last third of the movie, but I need to watch again to think about this.
Old 10-27-19, 04:18 AM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I absolutely loathed this film the first time that I saw it, but I watched it again the very next night and my opinion took a 180-degree turn. As DaveyJoe wrote above, there really is a lot to unpack in this film; I've seen it probably a half-dozen times and I'm still discovering new things in it every time that I watch it. Once this year's Challenge is over, I'm going to go back and listen to the commentary featuring Miike and the film's writer. I sampled a bit of it the other night after watching the film, and it sounds like it'll be quite interesting.

On a side note, I moved to Japan not long after first seeing this film, and it totally warped my perception of Japanese women for months.
Old 10-27-19, 04:47 PM
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Re: "Audition" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Agree with everyone that this is an excellent slow burn film with alot of hidden depth you only "unpack" with multiple viewings.

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