Saturday, October 23, 2021

"Not Safe For Life" 1999 Takashi Miike film Audition (オーディション) at Row House Cinema, October 29.

The 1999 Takashi Miike film Audition (オーディション) will play at Row House Cinema on October 29.
In this Japanese thriller, a widower schemes to find love but finds his dream woman to be a hellish nightmare. Director Takashi Miike’s film starts off feeling like a heartwarming romantic comedy before descending into grisly and terrifying chaos.
Film critic Robin Wood wrote of the Miike Takashi film:
In general, his reputation (or ‘cult’ status) appears to rest on his readiness to push further and further the boundaries of portrayable violence, ‘grossout’ cinema, which doubtless has its sociological interest within a civilization (and I don’t mean only Japanese) that seems to be in the process of accepting (and rather enjoying, even celebrating) its headlong race towards extinction: a kind of Japanese Tarantino, perhaps marginally less complacent and self-congratulatory [. . .].

To put it concisely: The other Miike films are disturbing for what they have to tell us about the state of contemporary civilization; they are not in the least disturbing in themselves, operating on some fantasy level of annihilation, with ‘comic-book’ violence. Audition, on the other hand, is authentically disturbing, and infinitely more horrifying: the first time I watched it – on DVD, at home, after warnings I had received – I was repeatedly tempted, through the last half hour, to turn it off. It is one of those few films, like Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma, 1975) that are almost as unwatchable as the newsreels – of Auschwitz, of the innocent victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Vietnam, victims of Nazi or American dehumanization, which today, under President Bush, seem not so far apart.
This one-night-only screening starts at 10:05 pm and tickets are available online. The single-screen theater is located at 4115 Butler Street in Lawrenceville (map).

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