Odishon * Miike Takashi * 1999

audition

Japanese films seem to get some more attention in alternative circles. This film got good critics overall as I remember, but still it took a while before I saw it. “Odishon” (better known by the english title “Audition”) is a film about a man whose wife died 7 years ago and who lives with his son. He is the second man in a film-business and as his son starts to get an interest in girls, the man feels a growing need for a new woman in his life as well. With his companion he sets up an audition for a film which he can also use for picking out a possible wife. Immediately after seeing the photo of Yamazaki Asami, Shigeharu Aoyama feels attracted to her. However Asami doesn’t get the main part in the film, Aoyama tries to keep the contact and eventually things seems to go in a direction that he hoped for. Then this nice drama makes a violent switch…

Asami turns out to be an abused girl with extremely violent fantasies and an equally grim sense of humour. Not knowing whether Aoyama dreams or not the viewer gets exposed to some of the most explicit and gruesome torturers that I have ever seen on a tv-screen. Needles pinned in the most painfull places (chest and face), feet cut of with a wire, images that will deeply disturb many.

So, in the end I don’t even know if I liked this film or not. It is original and it is good, but like the “ear-scene” from “True Romance” I definately think that this is a few steps too far.

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