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Audition Ending (Spoilers)

Old 02-11-03, 02:16 PM
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Audition Ending (Spoilers)

I have a question about the ending of Audition.... I just want to make sure I have my facts in line...because I started to get confused...so tell me if I am wrong.

When he goes to bed with her...I was not sure if he was dreaming or if it was real....it seemed like he conked out and when into a state of disillusion (where she cuts off his limbs and such)...and then he wakes up and is back in bed with her....and then he falls back to sleep and dreams it again?

This is what I dont understand....I apologize if I dont get it....or is the ending up to interpretation?
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Old 02-11-03, 03:29 PM
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For me it's just one of those surreal things you have to go with.

I believe that what happens at the very end DOES happen, but there are lots of little bits here and there that don't seem, to my mind, to work out linearly.

Is there an objective answer for what DID and DID NOT happen? Maybe...but I can't sort it out...and it doesn't affect my enjoyment of it one whit.

I've only seen it once though on Sundance. I just bought the R1 DVD of it, so maybe after a couple of revisits I'll feel differently.

Last edited by boutitboutit; 02-11-03 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 02-11-03, 03:34 PM
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it did happen
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Old 02-11-03, 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by dyerjp
it did happen
LOL Proof Please!!!?

If this is the case and it did happen....what am I missing? Something is really confusing me about this ending and I cant sort it.

Timeline:

-Goes to bed with her. (Professes that he only loves her)
-Wakes up and she is gone (He searches for her)
-In his search he finds clues to her past
-He gets drugged at home by her....she does her mutilating thing on him
-He is suddenly back in bed (seems to be awaking for a dream) She is now next to him instead of being gone
-He now puts his head back down on the pillow
-He now is back at home getting mutilated and his son comes come
-His sons kicks her down the stairs
-She rambles on almost dead on the floor...Saying things to the effect that he loved others besides her.



ALL THIS LEADS ME UP TO BE REALLY CONFUSED!!! Damnit I need to watch it again.

Last edited by murpm3; 02-11-03 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 02-11-03, 10:25 PM
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I have not watched this since the Region 1 dvd came out (and btw, shouldn't this thread be in Movie Talk?) but my initial opinion (and this may or not be correct, and I could change my mind when I see the film again), is that those segments interspersed among the mutilation scenes were either flashbacks, or flights of fantasy that he has while he is being tortured. I think I felt it was more along the lines of the flights of fanatasy.....he was escaping the pain by having these waking dreams/hallucinations. That was just my initial reaction....

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Old 02-12-03, 01:25 AM
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Miike said in the commentary on the R1 DVD that all the torture did happen. There are moments when he flashes back to other realities (some not even his own), but he does get his foot cut off.
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Old 02-12-03, 07:09 AM
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Re: Audition Ending (Spoilers)

Originally posted by murpm3
I have a question about the ending of Audition.... I just want to make sure I have my facts in line...because I started to get confused...so tell me if I am wrong.

When he goes to bed with her...I was not sure if he was dreaming or if it was real....it seemed like he conked out and when into a state of disillusion (where she cuts off his limbs and such)...and then he wakes up and is back in bed with her....and then he falls back to sleep and dreams it again?

This is what I dont understand....I apologize if I dont get it....or is the ending up to interpretation?
actually I think its opposite..they make you think he dreamed it then you hear that "kitty kitty" or whatever she says and he is back to reality..getting mutilated
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Old 02-12-03, 07:14 AM
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And in the commentary, the director says something along the line of "Here, the screenwriter must have been on drugs." Meaning, I guess, it's happening but don't even try to figure it out linerally or literally.

I did not really care for the movie. You can show me anything, as long as the internal logic holds. But the guy was having flashbacks to things that there was no way he could have seen. I watched the ending twice and again with the commentary. I understand that some of the flashbacks were supposedly his point of view and some were from the director's omnipresence. But it got all tangled up.

I found myself on more than one occassion thinking, "he can't be flashing back to that! He wasn't there when it happened!"

As I said before, a director can show me anything, as long as he earns the right. I don't believe he did. The ending seemed gratuitous. If it was set up better, I'd be all over it. But don't jerk me along and then throw something like that at me.

I will say that Audition has the best "jump moment" I've ever seen in a movie.
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Old 02-12-03, 11:24 AM
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[More about the movie than a non-R1 DVD]

Originally posted by garmonbozia
I have not watched this since the Region 1 dvd came out (and btw, shouldn't this thread be in Movie Talk?)
Probably!
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Old 02-12-03, 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by divemaster
I found myself on more than one occassion thinking, "he can't be flashing back to that! He wasn't there when it happened!"
Hee hee! That's what I love about Miike's stuff. He's got a truly surrealist bent of deliberately subverting all aspects of the medium. Yet he can create whole, real characters amid the chaos.
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Old 02-12-03, 12:32 PM
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By the way....I didnt express my opinion on this movie earlier....So here it is:

I actually really liked it. I dont know why because the latter half of the movie was weird. Its strange...I knew what was going on throughout the whole movie and knew what was going to happen to him, but I was thrown for a loop by what did happen. It was rather mind boggling to watch this seemingly sweet and innocent girl, who you knew had a sick and twisted side, actually perform all the horrific thoughts that were sitting in her head.

The ending scenes are confusing as all hell...but to tell you the truth it almost adds to the emotional effects that the lead actress portrays in her character (if that makes sense).

I am going to watch it again tonight because I think I will get more out of it than the first time I watched it.
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Old 02-12-03, 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by sundog
Hee hee! That's what I love about Miike's stuff. He's got a truly surrealist bent of deliberately subverting all aspects of the medium. Yet he can create whole, real characters amid the chaos.
I must then recommend to you Dead or Alive 2.
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Old 02-12-03, 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by rabbit77
I must then recommend to you Dead or Alive 2.
You don't have to recommend any of his stuff to me. If it's available I'll see it (and by available meaning if you have the DVD I'll borrow it . . . ). If it's in a theater then I'm all over it.

By the way, Facets is screening "Dead Alive: Final" February 28 - March 6.
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Old 02-13-03, 12:33 PM
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Audition is the best movie I saw last year, and it may be one of my favorites ever. It's suprisingly well scripted, well acted and well shot. The dream vs. reality topic is something you can endlessly debate, as a friend and I did the other night. There's no clear division between what is a dream and what is real in the movie. It's a matter of interpretation. My friend had a pretty wild perspective - while Shigeharu is asleep next to Asami, he somehow absorbs the details of her past from her and subsequently "dream-lives" them, although the torture passages are real. This view introduces a supernatural element to the movie that I don't see there, and it doesn't explain the brief "awakening interlude" in the middle of the torture scene.

My read is that all of the mutilation is a dream, regardless of what Miike says on the commentary (he makes so many films a year, they're probably just a blur to him anyway). The dreaming begins from the moment they fall asleep in the "blue room" through to the end, with the exception of the "awakening interlude." This explains a lot of things that are question marks in the film, and reinforces some interesting themes.

Shigeharu is a lonely man. He's embarassed about his shyness and inability to meet women. He falls in love with someone he knows almost nothing about, and the dangers of doing so are pointed out to him by his son and his best friend. His conscience nags him about meeting his potential bride through a grand deception. He may even be fearful of the sudden intimacy and neediness of his new partner.

Disregarding the brief moments in Asami's apartment early in the film, Asami is nothing more than what she presents herself to be - a sweet, shy, emotionally fragile young woman. The creepy scenes in her apartment can be explained as Shigeharu's imagination running away with itself, since they always occur when he is alone and thinking about her.

When he falls asleep with her in the blue room, he has a walloping dream that is equal parts abandonment fantasy, paranoia-induced terror and guilt trip. Notice how the evenly paced tone of the film shifts suddenly when Shigeharu is awakened by a mysterious call from the bellhop (a freak straight from David Lynch central casting). And why would a person as needy and clinging as Asami abandon Shigeharu in the middle of the night? Because Shigeharu is now in the depths of a protracted nightmare.

His dream fills in the backstory of Asami, explaining the gaps in his knowledge in the most disturbed way possible. The scars on her legs are from a relative's abusive torture. Her ballet career has seedy overtones. No can contact her former employer because she cut him to pieces and keeps him in a sack in her dank apartment. Her emotional neediness causes her to commit the cruelest acts of violence.

During the surreal sequence after he drinks the drugged whiskey, we are provided with information about Shigeharu we didn't get before, and a different picture of him emerges. We see additional moments from his date with Asami, and he is revealed to be so smitten that he can't listen to her. She reveals uncomfortable details about her past - he becomes restless and doesn't know how to react. He will never know her, because he is hung up on his image of her - her youth, beauty, and servility. He praises her, but doesn't want to hear anything about the unseemly details of her life. We see that he wants her, but there is no basis for a real relationship between them. The movie is very cagey about what it reveals and when it reveals it, which shows it has more going on than just shock and horror. Later, we find that the sad woman in his office who stares longingly at him is not just a potential romantic interest he has overlooked - she is an employee he took sexual advantage of, then rudely shunned.

I think the movie is about male paranoia in intimacy, about how people can entertain the darkest suspicions about others instead of reflecting on their own behavior. The moment when Shigeharu awakes from the torture dream to discover himself again in the blue room with Asami, both he and the viewer are relieved and terrified. It was just a dream, but how can he look at Asami the same way again? Who's the monster in this bed? The deceived, needy woman, or the man who pursues needy women, and then recasts them as demonic harpies?

This is a film written and directed by men. The "evil" Asami is a projection of these men, and by making her real, the film loses tension - its message partly devolves into "Women are bitches, don't be intimate, don't trust them, look what happens." I know that is partly overstatement, since Asami remains a sympathetic figure, even after she commits the most horrible acts, but in a film that bases its premise on gender, it's something to take into account.

Also, in the reality scenario, the immoral actions of Shigeharu become the lesser of two evils. We view his torture as an extreme punishment for a minor transgression. In the dream scenario, Shigeharu's punishment is self-punishment, which is a more psychological, Poe-like angle that I prefer.

If the torture is real, and the "awakening interlude" is a fantasy, why wouldn't he fantasize a happier scenario, rather than one in which Asami pledges her love while he lies terrified next to her? He actions in that scene seem more like someone who's awakened from a terrible dream, than someone who has escaped into fantasy. He then falls back asleep, and his dream continues. I have awoken from terrible dreams, then fallen back to sleep to "resolve" them, so this return to the torture scenario is not implausible to me. The first time I saw the film, I was a little frustrated by the switching back and forth, and saw it as mere gamesmanship. But on repeat viewings, the structure of the film becomes a little clearer, and I have more and more respect for it.
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Old 02-13-03, 09:39 PM
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I loved this film - it will always be one of my favorite theater experiences. Audition, Visitor Q, and Ichi the Killer have all convinced me that Miike is the ballsiest director working today. I wanted to share my interpretation of Audition, but ehonauer said essentailly everything I wanted to say, and said it better than I could. You could think of it as a sort of extra-sensory form of Stockholm syndrome, where the torturee identifies with the torturer to an extent as severe as the torture itself.
Also, I have to wonder whether Miike is a Monty Python fan, because the ending of Audition is in a way similar to the ending of the "Cycling Tour" episode!
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