Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Audition (1999)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Audition (1999, Jp./S.Kor.) (aka Odishon)

In director Takashi Miike's horrific romantic drama - a metaphoric, satirical commentary upon Japanese men's sexist attitudes towards women and relationships (and their misogynistic fear of deadly women), usually treating them as objects:

  • prior to the match-making 'audition' sequence, middle-aged, sad and lonely widower and movie producer-filmmaker Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), seven years after his wife's death, was urged by his teenaged son to remarry; he subjected potential 'perfect' brides-to-be to a rigorous casting-call "audition" - a process to select a partner to help him overcome loneliness and find love; the wannabe actresses thought, however, that they were auditioning for a movie
  • the winning final candidate selected by a smitten Aoyama was the seemingly-demure, polite, virginal and dutifully-humble 24 year-old Asami Yamazaki (fashion model Eihi Shiina in her debut role), who was described as "beautiful, classy, obedient"; she was a soft-spoken ballet dancer whose career had been sidelined by a hip injury - and had a long history of abuse by her step-father
  • Aoyama phoned Asami in her apartment and as the phone rang, a big burlap sack in the center of Asami's living room suddenly-lurched; during a flashback, the contents were revealed to be a man who was missing both feet, his tongue, one ear and three fingers on his right hand; he crawled out of the sack and begged for food from Asami, who obliged by vomiting into a silver dog dish and placing it on the floor in front of him; the man stuck his face into the bowl of vomit and hungrily ate it
  • a series of flashbacks and dream sequences revealed Asami's painful and sadistic, torture and dismemberment revenge on Aoyama (while she wore black rubber gloves); she drugged and temporarily paralyzed him (with a syringe), and then terrorized him with acupuncture needles (stuck into his eyelids) and razor-sharp piano wire (used to amputate or wire-saw off his left foot) to the sound of a Japanese bird: ("Kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri..." or "Deeper, deeper, deeper..."); it was unclear how much of his torment was within his own imagination
Painful Drugging, Torture with Needles, Dismemberment
  • in the tense conclusion, Asami broke her neck (and became paralyzed from the neck down) after being kicked down stairs by the widower's son during a struggle

Winning Audition Candidate: Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina)

Burlap Sack in Asami's Living Room

Death of Asami


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