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Audition

3.8 out of 5 stars 462 customer reviews

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(Oct 06, 2009)
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DVD
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DVD
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Audition

Amazon.com

If you want the full sledgehammer-to-the-stomach effect of Audition, stop reading this review now. Just watch it and take the consequences. At first glance, Takashi Miike's jack in the box of a movie works like a romantic comedy: amiable widower Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) decides it's time to find a new wife, and a friend suggests holding a fake audition to find the right girl. It soon becomes clear that there is something wrong with Aoyama's choice. This is no ordinary Fatal Attraction-style thriller, however; Audition slowly and carefully builds into a wrenching exploration of both deep male fears and the stereotype of the cute, submissive Japanese woman. Audition is by no means an easy movie to watch--even hardcore horror fans may have trouble--but it will stay with you for a long, long time. --Ali Davis

Special Features

  • Interview with director Takashi Miike from the American Cinematheque Theatre - conducted by Dennis Bartok and Chris D
  • Biography/ filmography of Takashi Miike
  • Tour of Egyptian Theatre (9 minutes)
  • Photo gallery
  • Liner notes by Chris D

Product Details

  • Actors: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura, Renji Ishibashi
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Daisuke Tengan, Ryû Murakami
  • Producers: Akemi Suyama, Jun'ichi Shindô, Satoshi Fukushima, Toyoyuki Yokohama
  • Format: Color, Director's Cut, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Chimera
  • DVD Release Date: June 4, 2002
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000640S9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Audition" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I had heard of "Audition" for months before actually getting my hands on a copy of the DVD. I basiscally knew what to expect -- slow first hour, horrific final half hour, leaving you guessing at the nature of what really happens. However, because I'd read so much about the film, I think I really cheated myself out of a truly visceral horror experience.
First, a short plot synopsis: Main charcter's wife dies. Seven years later, he's lonely and decides he wants to re-marry. To meet women, he holds an audition, casting for a fake movie, in order to easily meet young women. One particular young lady captures his fancy. But she is definitely more than she seems.
ATTENTION: This is NOT a Hollywood horror film. Don't expect the fake-scare red herrings, or the busty brainless chicks creeping into the attic to find out what that growling noise is. In fact, Audition contains few, if any, "shock" moments. Instead, the movie is a slow boil of disturbing creepiness that crescendoes into a brutal third act. This is not to say that there are not horrific moments, certainly this movie is rife with terrible images. But the film plays so differently from the tripe we see in American horror genres. It's slow, it's measured and it's effective.
I might be in the minority here, but I enjoyed the first hour of this film immensely. I liked the main character as a person, even felt a little sorry for him during his quest to find a mate, which made his fate (which I knew because of my research into the film) all the more dreadful.
I suppose because the second half of the film is so brutal, viewers might feel cheated out of what could have been a nice love story. However, I think this is what makes the film so quintessentially Japanese in its horror.
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Format: DVD
In the battle between men and women, who will triumph? Who knows, but Japanese director Takashi Miike's film "Audition" shines a particularly brutal light on this eternal conflict. Set in Japan, the film takes on additional significance considering what we know about the role of women in that society. I am far not expert on Japanese social roles or mores, but I imagine the stereotypical picture of a Japanese woman as a subservient figure to men is more or less an accurate one. Certainly, gender roles have changed somewhat over the last fifty plus years as Japan rapidly industrialized and assumed a western style political system. One hopes that some progress in this area has taken place there, but I am not so sure after watching this film. Apparently, the idea of a docile, ever ready to serve her partner woman still exerts a strong influence in that country. Otherwise, "Audition" would make little sense to its target audience. Completely independent of its effect on Japanese audiences, the movie will send shivers down the spine of every American male.
"Audition" starts like a Japanese adaptation of some saccharine American family television program. Aoyama, a man whose wife died some years before, desperately seeks female companionship. He works as a television producer, has done an excellent job raising his son, and enjoys bonding with this son on fishing trips. Aoyama, in other words, is a really nice guy. It's just that he is so lonely nowadays since his son is quickly growing up and has less and less time to spend with his father. Aoyama therefore soon faces the prospect of almost total solitude.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Audition sets you up to go in one direction, then takes you about a thousand miles away from where you thought you were going to go. It's mind-blowing. It's iconic. It inspired and informs a whole subgenre. And I never want to see it again.

Did I mention that it is mind-blowing? Watch it cold. Stay away from spoilers. And then seek help from the internet to figure out what in tarnation you just watched.

Seriously great. But seriously disturbing. Eli Roth and Rob Zombie allegedly had a hard time watching. As they should, since if I am reading the film correctly, it largely depicts an enormous undercurrent of justifiable female rage in the face of oppression and abuse. But maybe that's just my take on it.
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By Kelly Kelley on September 19, 2002
Format: DVD
AUDITION - directed by Takashi Miike (2001)
DVD/VHS
10/10
Japanese with English Subtitles
This film is un-rated and contains graphic violence.
Takashi Miike has accomplished drawing the audience in slowly with subtle and well-made storytelling that turns into a roller coaster ride of white-knuckle extreme terror. At first it seems as though Miike is presenting at straightforward family drama. Husband/father Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) widowed seven years prior decides under the gentle and humorous direction of his son (Tetsu Sawaki) it is time to remarry. Simple? Well, no. Aoyama's drinking buddy Yoshikawa (Jun Kunimura) decides to hold a fake audition for a film in search of the perfect woman. The editing during this sequence has a natural rhythm and humor that highlights the whole facade as the numbers of unusual women are asked a series of questions. Enter Asami (Eihi Shiina), a former ballet dancer, who seems to have suffered in her past. Aoyama falls in love quickly, and against the warnings of Yoshikawa moves forward in quest for the perfect mate," a compliant woman is best." Takashi quickly cuts to a still shot of Asami, sitting on the floor her head bent down, her hair falling over her head so we can't see her face, a telephone in the foreground, and a very large canvas bag. Throughout soundtrack is very well done and there are very different types of music to fit each scene. At this point, however, there is total silence. Long enough to create tremendous tension. Miike takes the audience with Aoyama as hints Asami's of psychotic disintegration almost subliminally sneak into the narrative. At the midway point we become just as disoriented as Aoyama. Is love blind and deaf?
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