Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

AUDITION

Year: 1999
Country: Japan
Run Time: 115 minutes

To call AUDITION a horror picture would unintentionally take it down to fodder like the "Scream" series and other so-called scary movies that are more about making gorehound ticket-buyers shriek and laugh at splattery special effects and trite plots. True horror, the infinite and sickening dread of what is relentlessly unfolding in front of you ? that is the effect of Takashi Miike's strictly-for-adults psychothriller, reminiscent of early Polanski and David Cronenberg. It starts off so slowly, even placidly, that you plunge into its nightmare abyss without a chance to retreat. Don't say you weren't warned... Widower Shigeharu decides to recapture his youth by taking the perfect young wife; his partnership in a television production company offers a convenient, businesslike solution. He auditions comely actresses, ostensibly for a drama project, but really to judge the best potential mate. Asami, a lovely, somewhat melancholy ex-dancer, makes the grade, with only a few shadows in her background. Like a few former male associates, now missing. Like the strange scars on her thigh. Like the rumors of untraceable body parts found in unlikely places. Shigeharu starts to suspect the worst ? but he's way behind in the game, and the blood-curdling final 30 minutes of AUDITION are not for the squeamish. (In Japanese with English subtitles.)

Screenplay
Daisuke Tengan (based on the novel by Ryu Murakami).

Director
Takashi Miike

Producer
Akemi Suyama, Satoshi Hukushima.

Cinematography
Hideo Yamamoto.

Editing
Yasushi Shimamura.

Principal Cast
Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Kuremura, Miyuki Matsuda, Renji Ishibashi, Jun Kunimura.

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