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I watched this because it was sited as one of the 100 best horror films of all time and it was actually fairly close to the top. Brought to you by the same genius that gave us The Happiness of the Katakuris, Audition is another species of salmon altogether. (My review of the former, once at Popcorn Critics is, alas, no longer.)

And frankly, I have to say that after seeing this film I had the same reaction I've had to every post Akira Kurosawa (and some pre-) Japanese film I've ever seen. Huh? What's going on? What does it mean? Why is it repeated three, four, five, six times? How did it end? What did it mean? What was the point?

Japanese films must rely upon a whole context of cultural clues to which I have no access because every time I watch one I am completely mystified. This is no exception. Girl auditions for a film role. Producer pursues girl. Girl is psychotic abused psycho-killer torturer or somesuch. Hack, slash, oops it was all a dream. Or maybe the dream was a dream and all that wasn't a dream was what was real. Paralyzed bodies, talking heads, blood and the end, plinking away on a piano.

I don't know. I suppose I liked some of the tension and suspense. But this isn't for the kiddies. And it isn't for the faint of heart. And it isn't for someone who expects a coherent story line. And it isn't for . . .

Only for crazed Japanese film afficianados. Everyone else can give it a big miss and not have missed a thing.

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Even having lived in Japan I have had the same reaction to some of these movies that you have. That you are an outsider without knowledge of the cultural context.

Though strangely it also now seems that I have the same reaction when I watch some American movies and tv and that I have become a cultural outsider in my own country.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 27, 2005 9:41 PM.

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