This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Takashi Miike’s torture-revenge breakthrough, AUDITION, kicks off thirteen-film tribute at Lincoln Center

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St.
Wednesday, March 16, 9:30
Series runs March 16-20

This is one sick flick. Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) has been lonely since his beloved wife died seven years earlier, and on the advice of his best friend (Jun Kunimura) he holds a fake audition to find himself the perfect romantic partner. He is immediately drawn to Asami (Eihi Shiina in her stunning film debut), but after they get together once, various events keep them from going out again, and Asami starts taking it pretty personally. So when they eventually do meet up.... This unconventional Japanese horror film, which won two awards at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, had some people running out of Film Forum faster than they lined up around the block to get in in the first place—the last half hour is so brutal, so grotesque, so disturbing, so violent that you should hang on only at your own risk. Audition was New York’s major introduction to Japanese director Takashi Miike, who has made more than ninety films since the early 1990s, including such fab efforts as The City of Lost Souls (2000), Ichi the Killer (2001), Izo (2004), and The Great Yokai War (2005), all of which are part of “Shinjuku Outlaw: 13 from Takashi Miike,” a five-day Lincoln Center tribute, held in conjunction with Subway Cinema, celebrating the New York premiere of his latest, the brilliant samurai drama 13 Assassins. Most well known for the graphic violence in his films, Miike also has a wild sense of humor and a knack for making audiences think, “Oh no he won’t,” and then he does. Miike will be on hand to introduce several of the Walter Reade screenings as well as the March 15 showing of Dead or Alive (1999) that is part of Japan Society’s “Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence.” Keep watching twi-ny, as we’ll be reviewing one film a day for the next week as the retrospective — which is sure to sell out, as Miike has a dedicated cult fan base and several of these films rarely appear on the big screen and are not available on DVD — approaches. [Ed. note: Miike was originally scheduled to appear at the Walter Reade Theater to introduce several screenings but has had to cancel because of the catastrophic events occurring in Japan.]

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