AUDITION Movie Poster Takashi Miike Horror Japanese
AUDITION Movie Poster Takashi Miike Horror Japanese
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Audition is a devious film, the kind that draws you in with well-developed characters and a patiently-paced plot but that eventually begins hitting you unapologetically with scenes of horror before finally bludgeoning you at its climax. Made by Takashi Miike, a master of inserting obscene levels of violence into well-measured stories, this is a film that builds up to an explosive finale that is virtually impossible to be perfectly unspoiled (assuming the viewer looks at the DVD packaging or poster art before watching the film) but nevertheless hits with such unexpected force that it can leave you sick. Aside from simply setting you up for a punch in the gut, however, Audition also quietly illustrates the extent of our acceptance of male dominance in society.
Shigehiko Aoyama, a film production company executive, lost his wife seven years ago. Left to take care of his teenage son Shigehiko and dog Gang, Aoyama is nothing but a nice, caring father and all-around good guy. Now he feels the urge to find a new life companion. When he expresses to friend and film producer Yasuhisa Yoshikawa the wish that he could examine women's lives and immediately pick the best one out to be his wife, Yoshikawa comes up with an idea: hold a fake film audition and find a potential romantic partner by interviewing applicants. After falling in love with applicant Asami Yamazaki practically before even meeting her, Aoyama begins dating the woman. However, as he falls more deeply in love with her, Asami's past and personality become more and more unclear, and eventually Aoyama will find himself in one of the most horrific scenarios imaginable.
Roughly the first two-thirds of Audition are presented in as a standard drama, focusing first on Aoyama's newly budding desire to once again have a wife and then on his search for love and his courtship of Asami. Miike directs this portion of the film fully to present Aoyama as a morally good character. He smiles softly when interacting with others, he is actively interested in his son's happiness, and he is perfectly gentle toward Asami. Furthermore, we are made not only to like Aoyama but to sympathize with him, as a man who lost his wife (to what precise ailment we do not know), who is shown brooding for most of the first few minutes of film, and who now feels an emptiness in his life. It would be hard to imagine a more likable character.
However, in its emphasis on Aoyama as a morally good character, Audition (purposely) overlooks the dishonesty and selfishness inherent in his plan to find a wife. While Aoyama initially has some misgivings about the fake audition, he and the viewer quickly accept it as a generally harmless means of achieving an end. However, late in the film, Asami chides Aoyama for the ruse. While Asami's explicit claim is that all male casting personnel attempt to leverage the hopefulness of female applicants for their own sexual pleasure, we can also tie her anger into a recurring theme of her own submissiveness to the world around her. Asami, a former ballerina who suffered a career-ending hip injury, likens her acceptance of the injury to an acceptance of death, something she accepts emotionally because, as she states, that's simply the way life works. Additionally, just as Asami is submissive to her medical and physical situation, she is also submissive socially, even to the point that Yoshikawa points out her obedient nature as a favorable attribute insofar as it relates to her being a potential love interest for Aoyama. These elements of dominance and submission play out in such a natural manner that indeed it is difficult for the viewer to view Aoyama as particularly dominant in any way, even when we learn of Asami's hurt.
The traumatizing ending to the film upsets our hopes for Aoyama, just as Asami's hopes have been upset. However, we are not aware of that when watching the events play out. Instead, we feel only sympathy for Aoyama and anger toward Asami. That is Audition's great deceit, and it confirms the film's core concerns. Despite her having lived a difficult and submissive life, we cannot empathize with Asami, and her breaking through her submissiveness becomes an abject act, not a commendable one. Likewise, even though Aoyama lives what must be viewed as a privileged life, and even though he used deception to find a potential wife, we fully understand and sympathize with him throughout the film. Indeed, the blunt and painful ending to the movie is not only an attack on Aoyama but on the viewer as well, a retaliation for our own happy acceptance of the dominance to which Asami has submitted.
On a casual viewing, it's difficult to glean a point from Audition. It's the story of a man finding someone to be his wife and eventually going through a handful of wild experiences before his love interest turns on him. We get a few shocks during the build-up and one major shock at the end. Even to those actively picking the film apart as they watch it, there can appear to be little point to it beyond its shock value. That is its trick, and that is why it punishes us with an ending so difficult to watch. We're so given to the acceptance of the characters' social roles in the film that we don't even see the retaliatory underpinnings of Asami's actions.
Audition is a 1999 psychological horror film. It was directed by famous Japanese horror filmmaker Takashi Miike, written by Daisuke Tengan, musically composed by Koji Endo, cinematography by Hideo Yamamoto, edited by Yasumi Shimamura, produced by Satoshi Fukushima, Akemi Suyama, Omega Project, Creators Company Connection, Film Face, AFDF Korea and Bodysonic, and starred Ryo Ishibashi and Eihi Shiina.
Why It Rocks
- An incredibly disturbing horror film for its time.
- Asami Yamazaki (portrayed by Eihi Shiina) is one of the creepiest and most unsettling villains in horror movie history, right up there with the likes of Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, and Annie Wilkes.
- Very well-written, subtle drama.
- Despite being a reprehensible monster, Asami Yamazaki is still sympathetic. She was a victim of child abuse. Throughout her younger years, she is taught that love and pain must be one and the same. It also didn't help that Shigeharu Aoyama (portrayed by Ryo Ishibashi) picked her as his wife through an "audition" format rather than actually falling in love with her.
- Incredible orchestrated soundtrack.
- Beautiful, inventive cinematography.
- The film is unique in the sense that it really has no likable characters. Aoyama is dispicable for the way he treats women, and Asami is dispicable for the way she reacts to it. It provides an unusual moral dilemma in horror films where neither of the protagonists are good people, and the viewer is forced to choose which character to root for based on their emotions, provided that they're even able to.
- Intense, dark, forboding atmosphere, which permiates the entire film.
- Despite the characters being unlikable, they're also oddly relatable. Aoyama can easily relate to lonely men who are sick of being alone, and Asami can relate to women who are tired of being used and objectified.
- This movie proves that you don't have to show tones of graphic gore to be truly terrifying.
- Phenomenal acting, especially from Eihi Shiina and Ryo Ishibashi.
She always gets a part
|Original Title :||Odishon|
|Director :||Takashi Miike|
|Writer :||Ryu Murakami |
|Producer :||Satoshi Fukushima , Jun'ichi Shindô , Akemi Suyama , Toyoyuki Yokohama|
|Music :||Kôji Endô|
|Photography :||Hideo Yamamoto|
|Distributor :||American Cinematheque [us]|
|MPAA Rating :||Rated R for violence/torture and sexuality.|
|IMDB ID :||0235198|
|Search Subtitles on opensubtitles.org|
Odishon (Audition) (1999) - Takashi Miike
|Ryo Ishibashi||Shigeharu Aoyama|
|Eihi Shiina||Asami Yamazaki|
|Eihi Shiina||Asami Yamazaki|
Seven years after the death of his wife, company executive Aoyama is invited to sit in on auditions for an actress. Leafing through the resumés in advance, his eye is caught by Yamazaki Asami, a striking young woman with ballet training. On the day of the audition, she's the last person they see. Aoyama is hooked. He notes her number from her file, calls her and takes her to dinner. He hesitates to call again, worried that he'll seem too eager. When he does, Asami knowingly lets the phone ring for some time before answering. She's alone in her darkened room - alone, that is, apart from the writhing victim she has tied up in a sack on the floor...
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Odishon (Audition) (1999) - Takashi Miike
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Odishon (Audition) (1999) - Takashi Miike
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Odishon (Audition) (1999) - Takashi Miike
Poster audition 1999
Audition (1999) by Takashi Miike
Audition (1999) Poster
I can’t believe we haven’t done a post of Takashi Miike’s Audition yet. I was looking through a list of the top horror movies of all time. There were only 2 in the top 20 that we haven’t covered and one of those was Audition
. This is one of the few posters I’ve posted that scares me. I’m not a big fan of needles, which is like saying I’m not a big fan of getting punched in the face.
The first movie I saw by Takashi Miike was The Happiness of the Katakuris. I watched it with Streebo and it was odd to say the least, but fun. I’ve seen many others since, the most recent being Sukiyaki Western Django which starred Quentin Tarantino of all people. If you check out Takashi Miike’s IMDB page, you’ll notice that he puts out a ton of films. He doesn’t do the one film every 5 years thing. He’s directed 89 films since 1991 (Straw Shield is still in post production at this time).
Learn more about Audition after the leap.
IMDB describes Audition as, “A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.” This is a movie that people talk about, I remember when people started talking about and discussing the twisted things this girl does….horrible things. Audition stars Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki and Jun Kunimura. One interesting thing about the film is when the film was screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival 2000 it had a record number of walkouts. At the Swiss premiere someone passed out and needed emergency room attention. Now that is an intense film.
It seems that most of the scenes from Audition on YouTube are blocked for content (which is understandable) so I can’t really put them on here. It also seems that there aren’t many English interviews with Takashi Miike. So I’ll just show some pictures.
Audition interview scene
Audition – Eihi Shiina
Audition – Eihi Shiina and Ryo Ishibashi
I first saw Audition at the 1999 Vancouver International Film Festival where it was presented as part of a package of Japanese horror films. This was well before director Takashi Miike became a cult figure and so one entered with no expectations of what the film would be like. And it was this very association with classical kaidan eiga that makes Audition so spookily effective.
Audition starts out a quietly mannered film – slowly told, with well-drawn characters and seemingly shaping up to be a sensitive portrait of a lonely executive falling in love with a mystery girl twenty years his younger. The film quietly engages one in its emotions, especially the tenderly rendered scenes, like where Eihi Shiina shows Ryo Ishibashi her scars and allows him to make love to her.
In the casting of Eihi Shiina, who comes with a child’s body and unearthly looks, and the mystery that is suggested about her background, Audition creates the suggestion that there is something eerie, almost unworldly about her. The impression that one gets is that maybe she is a ghost – and that the film is shaping up to be a traditional Japanese ghost story. What is so effective about the film is this sense of misdirection – for what Audition eventually ends up being is the furthest thing from anything resembling a traditional love or ghost story.
The first glimpse we get that Audition is going to be something else altogether is a brief shot where we see Eihi Shiina waiting inside an apartment, which is empty except for a telephone stretching across the floor. And then, just as the phone rings, a large bag that has previously been sitting in the background abruptly rolls across the floor of its own accord. It is only a brief shot but it makes the entire audience jump and for the next few minutes, as the film returns to its tender love story, you sit wondering what on Earth just happened.
Eventually the apparent ghost story pans out into a more mundane story of psychological origins. Director Takashi Miike never spells things out for the audience – he inserts a dream sequence with images of people with severed fingers emerging from the bag and flashbacks to Eihi Shiina being tortured and cutting off her uncle’s head with piano wire, and leaves the audience to connect these up in terms of explanation for her behaviour and the clues that have been littered throughout about the missing journalist and the slaughter at the nightclub.
It is during the last fifteen minutes or so that Audition enters into the genuinely disturbing with some of the most extreme and seat-squirmingly uncomfortable scenes of torture ever placed on screen – with [SPOILER ALERT] Eihi Shiina drugging Ryo Ishabashi by injecting him straight into the tongue, torturing him with acupuncture needles applied to his pain centres and then poked under his eyeballs, and then sawing his foot off with a piece of piano wire. These scenes are as uncomfortable to sit through as anything one has seen in some time.
Moreover, the film ends with a double twist ending that leaves one unsettlingly uncertain as to whether what is happening is a dream or real. Audition is a film that, in its unexpected progression from a gentle love story to some of the most extreme sadism portrayed on screen, leaves one entirely exhausted.
Takashi Miike’s other genre films are:– Full Metal Yakuza (1997), a yakuza/cyborg film; the teen film Andromedia (1998) about a schoolgirl resurrected as a computer program; The Bird People in China (1998) about the discovery of a lost culture; the Yakuza film Dead or Alive (1999), which comes with a gonzo sf ending; the surreal Dead or Alive 2 – Birds (2000); the six-hour tv mini-series MPD Psycho (2000) about a split-personalitied cop tracking body-hopping terrorists; the surreal black comedy The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001); Ichi the Killer (2001), a Yakuza film with some extreme torture scenes; the controversial taboo-defying Visitor Q (2001) about a mysterious visitor; the Cyberpunk future-set Dead or Alive: Final (2002); the surreal Yakuza film Gozu (2003); One Missed Call (2003) about ghostly cellphone calls; the ultra-violent Izo (2004) about a cursed, immortal samurai; an episode of the horror anthology Three … Extremes (2004); the superhero film Zebraman (2004); the fairytale Demon Pond (2005); the supernatural fantasy epic The Great Yokai War (2005); Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006), a prison murder mystery with SF elements; the SF film God’s Puzzle (2008); YatterMan (2009), a gonzo live-action remake of a superpowered anime tv series; Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City (2010); the videogame adaptation Ace Attorney (2012); Lesson of the Evil (2012) about a murderous high school teacher; As the Gods Will (2014) with high school students being slaughtered by a doll; Over Your Dead Body (2014) wherein the roles in a ghost story play come to replay themselves in the lives of the actors; the gonzo horror film Yakuza Apocalypse (2015); Terra Formars (2016) about giant mutated cockroaches on Mars; Blade of the Immortal (2017) about an immortal samurai; JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable – Chapter 1 (2017); and Laplace’s Witch (2018).
(Winner in this site’s Top 10 Films of 1999 list. Nominee for Best Scare Sequence at this site’s Best of 1999 Awards).
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Audition (1999 film)
1999 film by Takashi Miike
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Takashi Miike|
|Screenplay by||Daisuke Tengan|
by Ryu Murakami
|Edited by||Yasushi Shimamura|
|Music by||Kōji Endō|
|Box office||$131,296 (United States)|
Audition (オーディション, Ōdishon) is a 1999 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Miike, based on the 1997 novel by Ryu Murakami. It is about a widower, Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), whose son suggests that he should find a new wife. Aoyama agrees, and with a friend, stages a phony audition to meet a potential new partner in life. After interviewing several women, Aoyama becomes interested in Asami (Eihi Shiina), who responds well to him, although as they date, her dark past affects their relationship.
Audition was originally a project of the Japanese company Omega Project, who wanted to make a horror film after the great financial success of their previous production Ring. To create the film, the company purchased the rights to Murakami's book and hired screenwriter Daisuke Tengan and director Miike to film an adaptation. The cast and crew consisted primarily of people Miike had worked with on previous projects, with the exception of Shiina, who had worked as a model prior to her career in film. The film was shot in about three weeks in Tokyo.
The film premiered, with a few other Japanese horror films, at the Vancouver International Film Festival, but it received much more attention when it was shown at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2000, where it received the FIPRESCI Prize and the KNF Award. Following a theatrical release in Japan, the film continued to play at festivals and had theatrical releases in the United States and United Kingdom, followed by several home media releases. Audition was received positively by Western film critics on its release, with many noting the final torture sequence in the film and how it contrasts with the non-horrific scenes before. The film has appeared on several lists of the best horror films ever made, and has had an influence on other horror films and directors including Eli Roth and the Soska sisters.
Shigeharu Aoyama's friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa, a film producer, devises a mock casting audition at which young women audition for the "part" of Aoyama's new wife. Aoyama agrees to the plan and is immediately enchanted by Asami Yamazaki, attracted to her apparent emotional depth.
Yoshikawa attempts to reach any of the references on her résumé, such as a music producer she claimed to work for, who is missing. However, Aoyama is so enthralled by her that he pursues her anyway. She lives in an empty apartment, containing a sack and a phone. For four days after the audition, she sits perfectly still next to the phone waiting for it to ring. When it finally does, she answers pretending that she never expected Aoyama to call. After several dates, she agrees to accompany him to a seaside hotel, where a smitten Aoyama intends to propose marriage. At the hotel, Asami reveals burn scars on her body. Before having sex, Asami demands that Aoyama pledge his love to her and no one else. A deeply moved Aoyama agrees. In the morning, Asami is nowhere to be found.
Aoyama tries to track her down using her résumé, but as Yoshikawa warned, all of the contacts are dead ends. At the dance studio where she claimed to have trained, he finds a man with prosthetic feet. The bar where she claimed to work has been abandoned for a year following the murder and dismemberment of the owner. A passerby tells Aoyama that the police found three extra fingers, an extra ear, and an extra tongue when they recovered the body; Aoyama has hallucinations of the body pieces. Meanwhile, Asami goes to Aoyama's house and finds a photo of his late wife. Enraged, she drugs his liquor. Aoyama comes home, pours a drink, and after a short while feels the effects of the drug. A flashback shows that the sack in Asami's apartment contains a man missing both feet, his tongue, one ear and three fingers on one hand. He crawls out and begs for food. Asami vomits into a dog dish and places it on the floor for the man. The man sticks his face into the vomit and hungrily consumes it.
Aoyama collapses from the drug. Asami injects him with a paralytic agent that leaves his nerves alert, and tortures him with needles. She tells him that just like everyone else in her life, he has failed to love only her. She cannot tolerate his feelings for anyone else, even his own son. She inserts needles into the skin below his eyes, saying "deeper" continuously as she does so. She then cuts off his left foot with a wire saw. Shigehiko returns home as Asami begins to cut off Aoyama's other foot, and she sneaks up on him with a spray. As she attacks the boy, Aoyama appears to suddenly wake up back in the hotel after he and Asami had sex, and his current ordeal seems to be only a nightmare; Aoyama proposes marriage and Asami accepts. As he falls back asleep in the hotel, he returns to find his son fighting Asami, who is brandishing a can of mace. Shigehiko kicks her downstairs, breaking her neck. Aoyama tells his son to call the police and stares at the dying Asami, who repeats what she said on one of their dates about her excitement on seeing him again.
Critics have considered Audition as both feminist and misogynistic. Miike has stated that when he met journalists in the United Kingdom and France, he found they commented on the film's feminist themes when Asami gets revenge on the men in her life. The film sets up Aoyama with traits and behaviors which could be considered sexist: a list of criteria for his bride to meet, and the phoney audition format he uses to search for future wife. Tom Mes, author of Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike, stated that the torture sequence, with the mutilation of Aoyama, can be seen as revenge from Asami. Dennis Lim of the Los Angeles Times examined similar themes, noting that the film is "ultimately about the male fear of women and female sexuality" and that women are blatantly objectified in the first half of the film, only to have Asami "redress this imbalance" in the second half when she becomes an "avenging angel". Chris Pizzello, writing in the American Cinematographer, stated that one plausible approach to interpreting the film is to see the final act as a representation of Aoyama's guilt at his mistreatment of women and his desire to dominate them. Aoyama develops a paranoid fantasy of an attacking object: because he harbours sadistic thoughts towards women, he develops a fear that the object will retaliate. Contrary to this, Miike has stated that the final torture scenes in the film are not a paranoid nightmare dreamed up by Aoyama. Mes has argued against the feminist portrayal of the film, noting that Asami is not motivated by an ideological agenda, and that acknowledging that she takes revenge on a man who has lied to her would be ignoring that she has also lied to Aoyama. Asami states "I want to tell you everything" during the torture scene, implying she had not been truthful before. Mes also notes that the avenging angel theme contradicts a feminist-themed revenge interpretation, given that one of Asami's victims is female.
In Audition, the character of Asami is a victim of child abuse. Colette Balmain, in her book Introduction to Japanese Horror Film, described Asami as "just one more face of the wronged women in Japanese culture... They are victims of repression and oppression, and only death and loneliness remain for them". The film critic Robin Wood wrote that through her child abuse, Asami is taught that love and pain must be inseparable. The audience is led to identify with Asami through this victimization and also what Stephen LeDrew described as a "patriarchal Japanese society".Elvis Mitchell (The New York Times) stated that the theme of the film was: "the objectification of women in Japanese society and the mirror-image horror of retribution it could create". Tom Mes suggested that these themes can be witnessed in the scene where Asami feeds her mutilated prisoner and then turns into the childhood version of herself and pets him like a dog. Mes concludes that this is done to suggest that what had happened in Asami's life had made her the violent adult seen in the film.
The main production company behind Audition was the Japanese company Omega Project. Omega were originally behind the production of Hideo Nakata's film Ring; this was a great success in Japan and, subsequently, the rest of Asia. Omega had problems setting up the release of Ring in Korea and had the company AFDF Korea work on a Korean re-adaptation of the Ring. The following year, in 1998, Omega partnered again with AFDF Korea and other production companies including Creators Company Connection, Film Face, and Bodysonic to make the adaptation of Ryū Murakami's 1997 novel Audition. Omega wanted to create a film different from the supernatural-themed Ring, and chose to adapt Murakami's novel, which lacked this trait. To attempt something different, they hired a screenwriter (Daisuke Tengan) and a director (Takashi Miike) who were not known for working on horror films. Prior to Audition, Tengan was best known as a screenwriter for working with his father (Shohei Imamura) on The Eel, which won the Palme d'Or in 1997.
To create Audition, Miike worked with many of his previous collaborators, such as cinematographer Hideo Yamamoto. Miike spoke of his cinematographer by saying that Yamamoto was: "very sensitive towards death. Both of his parents died very young, and it's not something he talks about much". Miike also noted that he felt that Yamamoto was: "living in fear, and that sensibility comes through in his work. It's something I want to make the most of". The film's score was composed by Kōji Endō. Endō had previously composed work for Miike on films such as The Bird People in China. Yasushi Shimamura was the film's editor. Shimamura had worked with Miike as early as Lady Hunter: Prelude To Murder in 1991.
Actor Ryo Ishibashi wanted to work with Miike and agreed to the role. He commented that despite not being a great fan of horror films, he enjoyed scripts, such as that of Audition, that showcased human nature. Model Eihi Shiina was cast in the film as Asami. Shiina's career was primarily as a model and she only began acting after being offered a film role while she was on holidays. Shiina first learned about Miike through his film Blues Harp, which made her interested in meeting the director. When Shiina first met Miike, they began talking about her opinions on love and relationships. On their second meeting, Miike asked Shiina to play the part of Asami. Shiina thought that the opinions and feelings she expressed to Miike were the reason she was cast in the role, and she tried to play the role as naturally as she could without going over the top.
Audition was shot in approximately three weeks, which was about one more week than usual for Miike's films at the time. Scenes such as those in Asami's apartment and at a restaurant were shot on location in a real apartment and a real restaurant. Outdoor scenes were shot in Tokyo, along intersections in Omotesandō.
The torture scene at the end of the film did not initially contain Asami's lines "Kiri-kiri-kiri". Shiina was initially whispering her lines while filming this scene, but after discussion with Miike, the two decided that having her say these lines would make the scene scarier. Ishibashi found that Miike was "having so much fun with that scene", and that Miike was especially excited when Ishibashi's character's feet are cut off. For the special effects where Shiina's character places acupuncture needles into Ishibashi, special effects make-up was used to create a mask layer which was laid upon Ishibashi's eyes, which is then pierced by the needles.
Audition had its world premiere on October 2, 1999 at the Vancouver International Film Festival. The premiere was part of a program of modern Japanese horror films at the festival, including Ring, Ring 2, Shikoku and Gemini.Audition was screened at the 29th Rotterdam International Film Festival in The Netherlands in early 2000 where it was shown as part of a Miike retrospective. Tom Mes stated that Audition received the most attention at Rotterdam, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize for the best film of competition. The FIPRESCI award was given by a jury of international film journalists, who grant this award during the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Only films not in competition qualify for the award.Audition also won the KNF Award, voted by the Circle of Dutch Film journalists.
Audition was released theatrically in Japan on March 3, 2000. When asked about the reception in Japan, Miike stated that there was "no reaction" as the film was shown in small theaters for a short theatrical run. Miike followed up that the Japanese audience did not really know about Audition until it received a greater reputation abroad. It received its American premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2000. The film was given its theatrical release in the United States on August 8, 2001. It eventually grossed $131,296 in the country.
In the United Kingdom, Audition received screenings in 2000 at both FrightFest and the Raindance Film Festival. It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom by Metro Tartan in mid-March 2001. It was Miike's first film to be released theatrically in the United Kingdom.
Audition was released on DVD in the United States by Chimera on June 4, 2002. The DVD included an interview with Miike and a documentary on the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. A new DVD was released by Lionsgate in 2005 dubbed the "uncut special edition". This release included an interview with Ryu Murakami, a selected scene commentary by Miike, and a clip from Bravo's The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Peter Schorn of IGN gave a negative review of the 2006 DVD, finding that the video was "overcompressed to the point that a distracting, shifting blockiness frequently in backgrounds that draws the eye away from the actors". IGN concluded that the: "overall image quality is soft and fuzzy, with weak black levels, murky shadow areas and less-than-impressive color saturation". On October 6, 2009, Shout! Factory released a DVD and Blu-ray release of the film that featured an introduction by Miike and actress Eihi Shiina, a full audio commentary by Miike and screenwriter Daisuke Tengan, and a documentary featuring the cast.
Audition was released in the United Kingdom on DVD by Tartan Video on June 28, 2004. The disc contained an interview with Miike and liner notes by Joe Cornish. Matthew Leyland (Sight & Sound) reviewed this release, stating that the audio and visual presentation was "exemplary" while noting that the interview with Miike was the only noteworthy bonus feature on the disc. The film was later released by Arrow Video on February 29, 2016. The Arrow Video release was exclusively restored in 2K resolution and was scanned from a 35mm interpositive.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 81% based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 7.34/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "An audacious, unsettling Japanese horror film from director Takashi Miike, Audition entertains as both a grisly shocker and a psychological drama". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 69 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Ken Eisner (Variety) gave the film a positive review. The reviewer referred to the film as a "truly shocking horror film" that was "made even more disturbing by its haunting beauty". Geoffrey Macnab, writing in Sight and Sound, referred to the film as a "slow-burning but ultimately devastating horror pic" and wrote that "it's a virtuoso piece of film-making with much more subtlety and depth than Miike's other films".The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck described the film as "one of the most audacious, iconoclastic horror films in recent years".Mark Schilling (The Japan Times) praised Shiina and Ishibashi's acting, but noted that "among the film's few irritants is a smarmy, snarly bad guy turn by Renji Ishibashi as Asami's wheelchair-bound ballet instructor. He is a reminder of where too many other Miike films have headed – straight for the video racks". Schilling concluded that "Miike is ready for a bigger role – as one of the leading Japanese directors of his generation".
In the early 2010s, Time Out conducted a poll with several authors, directors, actors and critics who have worked within the horror genre to vote for their top horror films.Audition placed at number 18 on their top 100 list.
Writers for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Sight & Sound all emphasized the film's final scene. Scheck (The Hollywood Reporter) wrote that "Miike lulls the audience into a state of complacency with a studied, slow-moving, lightly comic first half before delivering a gruesome final section that makes Stephen King's Misery look wholesome"; the ending was "all the more shocking for the clinical way in which it is presented". Eisner (Variety) stated that it is only at the ending of the film that Audition "breaks out of creepfest ghetto". In his essay on themes in Audition, Robin Wood stated that most of Miike's films are disturbing for "what they have to tell us about the state of contemporary civilization; they are not in the least disturbing in themselves, operating on some fantasy level of annihilation, with 'comic-book' violence". In comparison, he stated that Audition is "authentically disturbing, and infinitely more horrifying: the first time I watched it – on DVD, at home, after warnings I had received – I was repeatedly tempted, through the last half hour, to turn it off". Wood compared the film to Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, stating that the film was "almost as unwatchable as the news reels – of Auschwitz, of the innocent victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Vietnam, victims of Nazi or American dehumanization".
Of the film's success with Western audiences, Miike states that he was not surprised, but that he had "no idea what goes on in the minds of people in the West and I don't pretend to know what their tastes are. And I don't want to start thinking about that. It's nice that they liked my movie, but I'm not going to start deliberately worrying about why or what I can do to make it happen again". Actress Eihi Shiina stated that, in Japan, only a certain type of film fan would watch Audition. By comparison, she said, the film was seen by many more people overseas, which she attributed to "good timing".
Aftermath and influence
"I'm just curious how it'd look like if someone tried to remake my work. But I really believe that it's hard to remake of any of my work."
– Miike on being asked about his films being remade in Hollywood
After the release of Audition, Miike was going to adapt Murakami's novel Coin Locker Babies, but the project failed to find enough financing.
Audition has been described as an influence on "torture porn". The term was invented by David Edelstein to describe films such as Saw, The Devil's Rejects and Wolf Creek that offer "titillating and shocking" scenes that push the audience to the margins of depravity in order for them to "feel something".Audition influenced American directors such as Eli Roth. Roth stated that Audition influenced him to make his film Hostel, with Miike even making a cameo as a satisfied customer of the kidnappers who let customers torture their victims. Richard Corliss, writing in Time, opined that Audition was different from torture porn films as: "unlike Saw and its imitators in the genre of torture porn, Audition doesn't go for gore-ific money shots. Miike's films live inside their characters, taking the temperature of their longings, the ridiculous ambitions they chase so obsessively and their need to experience the extreme to prove they're alive".
Audition has been referenced in western popular culture such as comics, music videos, and other media. It was listed by twin directors Jen and Sylvia Soska as one of their favourite horror films, and with the sisters saying that it was an influence on their film American Mary. The directors noted the character of Asami, stating that an audience generally sees: "female characters in a horror film as the helpless victim. This film leads you in one direction, skillfully hinting at a darker storyline for the otherwise meek and slight Asami until the final 15 minutes where we are introduced to a merciless monster. A perfect personification of the irrational rage of a woman scorned". Director Quentin Tarantino included Audition in his list of top 20 films released since 1992 (the year he became a director).Audition was among the films included in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
Deadline reported that executive producerMario Kassar had begun work on an English language adaptation of Audition in 2014. Richard Gray was brought on to serve as the remake's director and screenwriter. The film's storyline will be taken from Ryu Murakami's novel as opposed to an adaptation of Miike's film, and the film will take place in North America. The new film is set to include scenes and locations in the novel that were not in Miike's film.
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Directorial works of Takashi Miike