“Audition” an Arrow Video Club presentation on September 19th at the Prince Charles Cinema

I have already retweeted this but I wanted to write a quick post about an Arrow Video Club presentation of Takashi Miike’s classic horror film Audition which will be screened at the Prince Charles Cinema at 20:45 on September 19th. Here’s a link to more information on the cinema’s site.

This film is incredible and I have already written a review full of praise so I want to hype this screening up because it deserves to be seen on the big screen! Also, scariest use of a sack in a film!

Audition's Yoshikawa and Aoyama

Continue reading ““Audition” an Arrow Video Club presentation on September 19th at the Prince Charles Cinema”

Genkina Hito and It Came From Japan

The LAMB logoIt is getting close to Halloween and so this post is timely… I am a member of The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs) and occasionally, very occasionally, I take part in some of the events organised by them. Recently I have taken part in Foreign Chops #6: It Came From Japan which hosts a bunch of reviews from LAMB members which are focussed on Japanese horror films.

Apparently this is the second largest edition of Foreign Chops and from what I can see the titles sent in are an interesting mix. There are some obvious titles like, Audition and Ichi the Killer, the splatter-fest Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl and classic kaidan eiga like Jigoku, Kuroneko and Onibaba and more recent J-horror like Ju-On and Ringu.

Onibaba Demon Hag

There are a lot of titles I wouldn’t class as strictly horror since they mix genres. Titles like the kaiju eiga Gamera vs. Guiron and Godzilla vs. Mecha Godzilla, and the dystopian action thriller Battle Royale.

There are even some non-Japanese films including, Bio Zombie and Three Extremes. While Three Extremes scrapes in (just) since only one section (the best) is Japanese, the others come from Hong Kong and South Korea, Bio Zombie is clearly from Hong Kong. It is also pretty unspectacular. Thankfully there are some interesting reviews of classic titles, notably from Silveremulsion with The Ghost of Yotsuya and Jigoku.

My reviews (picked with help by Goregirl) are for Cure, Retribution (representing Kiyoshi Kurosawa), Suicide Circle (probably the most fun I have had watching and reviewing a Sion Sono film), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (an incredible film from Shinya Tsukamoto) and Audition (Miike represented). Three of Japan’s biggest directors, five films that deserve to be seen and probably three of my more readable attempts at film criticism.

As for Halloween itself… on Wednesday I will post a review of a great horror film, a tradition I started last year with Shinya Tsukamoto’s Nightmare Detective.

Audition オーディション (1999)

If you haven’t seen this film or read the book do not read any reviews, just watch the film. Warning: this is a long and rambling review.

The most memorable thing about Audition is the ferocious final thirty minutes which helped to establish the notion of Extreme Asian Cinema in the west and Takashi Miike’s skill for violence and grotesque horror (it also remains memorable because my Japanese teacher is fond of imitating dialogue). What is forgotten is this film showcases Miike’s brilliance when restrained and disciplined by a script with believable characters.

Since the death of his wife Ryoko seven years ago, film producer Aoyama(Ryo Ishibashi) has raised their son Shigehiko alone. The two live a happy life but Shigehiko notices his father looking worn out so asks “why don’t you marry again?” Aoyama is taken with the suggestion but is unsure how to approach remarrying. His friend Yoshikawa, a film producer, suggests staging an audition to find a girl aged between 20-35 for a role in a film that is unlikely to be made. The plan is Aoyama won’t marry the successful girl but the audition will uncover gems. Despite misgivings over the process, Aoyama proceeds and discovers ex-ballerina Asami(Eihi Shiina) and falls for her. After initial contact, she warms to his advances and Aoyama becomes increasingly infatuated with her fragile nature and beauty ignoring the dark side to the girl of his dreams.

The eponymous Audition from the film Continue reading “Audition オーディション (1999)”