A brilliant surgeon, Dr. Génessier, helped by his assistant Louise, kidnaps nice young women. He removes their faces and tries to graft them onto the head on his beloved daughter Christiane... See full summary »
A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the ... See full summary »
A lonely Japanese widower whose son is planning to move out of the house soon expresses his sadness to a friend and fellow film producer, who becomes inspired to hold an audition for a non-existent film so that the widower can select a new potential bride from the resulting audition pool. The widower ultimately becomes enamored with and fascinated by one particular young woman...but first impressions can often be horribly wrong.... Written by
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. See more »
During their weekend getaway, Asami clearly removes all of her clothing then lies in bed and covers with a sheet. She then raises the sheet to expose the wounds on her thigh. The white panties can clearly be seen despite the fact that she just removed them. See more »
I thought you were a busy man, I don't know what you do very well. You may think I am desperate... I was longing for your call. I didn't think I would see you again. Sorry, I'm pretty excited. Living alone was a hassle, I have nobody to talk to. You are the first one... Who is really warmhearted and tries to accept me and tries to understand who I really am.
It's hard to overcome that experience, but, someday you'll feel that life is wonderful. That's life, isn't it?
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Art-house horror flicks are not a very common genre (few come to mind except 'Don't Look Now') but Takashi Miike's film 'Audition' is a welcome addition to the canon. Beautifully shot and orchestrated, it is both a subtle personal drama and one of the most genuinely horrifying things I have seen. The early stages of this film resemble a work by Claude Sautet, only seen through a Japanese sensibility, about the relationship between an older man and a beautiful young woman, but there's something slightly discomforting both in the man's definition of the perfect partner, and in the person he finds who fulfills it. The story slides into first a mystery, and then a full blown horror story, the power of which comes from following a very simple golden rule: namely, make the audience care about the characters first: one small needle can be very very scary if you think that it's for real. And by keeping the meaning ambiguous (unlike, say, 'The Shining', with its self-defeating collapse into hyperbolic mania), the film also retains its impact after the initial shock.
This sense of ambiguity is also crucial to the film's claims to be something more than simply an unorthodox gore-fest. 'Audition' constructs, and then deconstructs, a certain vision of the world and the "horror" scenes are only part of this. The result is utterly beguiling, and one can even see similarities with Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' in 'Audition's' portrayal of a man's complicit relationship with hell.
In some ways, this is not a universal film and I could not imagine it working in English: can you envisage any Western actress speaking the Eihi Shiina's lines with a straight face?. Whether that's because the film is saying something profound about Japanese culture, or whether the fact that it appears to do so can finesse the issue for foreign audiences, I'm not sure. Dramatically, 'Audition' is, despite its climax, not the best film ever made. But atmospherically speaking, it's a masterpiece.
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