Friday, February 15, 2019

AUDITION (1999) Blu-ray Review

Audition (1999) d. Takashi Miike (Japan/S. Korea) (115 min)

After seven years of mourning and encouraged by his teenage son to find a new wife, Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) seeks the advice of a business colleague (Jun Kunimura) within the film company they work for. Together, they hit upon the perfect plan: Staging an audition for actresses, ostensibly for a new feature project, but in reality hoping to find the new ideal woman to share Aoyama’s life. While interviewing a series of candidates, the lonely widower becomes enchanted by Asami (Eihi Shiina), a quiet, 24-year-old woman, who is immediately responsive to his charms. The two seem to instantly fall for each other, but things take a very dark and twisted turn (or three) as we discover Asami isn't all she seems to be...

One of the titles that launched the international J-horror wave of the early 21st century, Audition exploded onto the festival circuit to a chorus of awards and praise, catapulting Miike into the consciousness of cinephiles around the world and paving the way for future off-kilter offerings as Ichi the Killer and The Happiness of the Katakuris. Playing with temporal constructs and toying with audience genre expectations (it’s a slow burn… but, hey, what’s that bag doing there?) and concluding with one of the most agonizing climaxes in recent memory. (“Kiri kiri kiri kiri” will haunt your nightmares for weeks.)

Celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary, Arrow Video presents a brand new 2K restoration from original vault elements with a bounty of supplemental features.


Introduction by Takashi Miike

Original 5.1 Dolby Surround Audio

Optional English subtitles

Audio commentary with director Takashi Miike and screenwriter Daisuke Tengan (Japanese with English subtitles)

NEW audio commentary by Miike biographer Tom Mes examining the film and its source novel

NEW Takashi Miike: Ties that Bind (30 min)

NEW “Damaged Romance” An appreciation by Japanese cinema historian Tony Rayns (35 min)

Ryo Ishibashi: Tokyo – Hollywood (16 min)

Eihi Shiina: From Audition to Vampire Girl (20 min)

Renji Ishibashi: Miike’s Toy (21 min)

Ren Osugi: The Man in the Bag Speaks (16 min)


Stills Gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel

Audition is available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video through MVD Visual and can be ordered HERE:


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