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Audition

Following the RING series (RING 2 shows here in May), the latest horror offering from Japan comes from prolific genre master Miike Takashi. Widowed middle-aged video producer Aoyama finds it difficult to meet the right woman for marriage. So he accepts a colleague’s offer to set up a fake audition seeking an appropriately young, beautiful, yet traditional and obedient new wife. He selects and falls for Asami and immediately starts to woo her, against his friend’s warnings. But Asami has very different ideas for this courtship and soon takes control in her special way. Deceptively quiet at first, the film pumps up the violence in the final reel, with some tortuous images made more shocking by their juxtaposition with the pristine and methodical. AUDITION employs genre conventions to great effect in a provocative comment on men’s attitude towards women in Japanese society. With its at times graphic violence this is not for the squeamish, but has been released in the UK uncut.