Episode 50. Man Seeking Woman: Audition (1999)

Takashi Miike created one of the most infamous, beloved and decisive films when he made Audition: a story of people looking for love in all the wrong places that has influenced a generation of filmmakers and terrified audiences all over the world. Andrea and Alex take a deep dive into the international and seemingly universal fears of love, intimacy and what it means to be a “good girl.”


Audition. Dir. Takashi Miike, 1999.


Holding Back Half the Nation – The Economist’s examination of Japanese women in the work place.

“Nice Girl”: Social Control of Women Through a Value Construct – Greer Litton Fox’s paper on the taming of women through perceived goodness.


Salem Horror Fest – We’ll be there October 7th and 8th! Tickets are available now.
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5 thoughts on “Episode 50. Man Seeking Woman: Audition (1999)

  1. Bjorn says:

    Another brilliant episode on one of my favourite horror films, which deserves more intelligent commentary like this than it usually gets. Thanks!

    Also, props for the ending music; I was hoping you might go with PJ Harvey’s “Legs” (“I had to ease my aching head/No other way/Cut off your legs”), but “Careless Whisper” was just… neat. (And a very Miike-like touch, I thought.)

  2. Chris Mosher says:

    What struck me the most about Audition was that it felt like Miike gave his full attention to this movie. There have been years where Miike released 5 films in one year and despite feeling weird and innovative they always felt rushed. Audition however felt like it got his full attention. Perhaps this is because how deliberately paced the movie is but I think that makes Audition Miike’s masterpiece. It was truly horrifying and was the last movie I saw to give me nightmares. The characters were flawed but well rounded. Its a rarity to feel sympathy for both parties in a horror film.

    Btw, I really enjoyed this issue of Rue Morgue, especially the Anton Levay article. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  3. Krista Gehring says:

    Congratulations on your 50th episode! I have just discovered this podcast and have been binging over the past several months. I really appreciate your scholarly and feminist approach to these films–makes me feel like I’m back at university in my “Horror Film” class with Bruce Kawin.

    Your comments have made me think quite a bit about this film, especially regarding the topic of intimacy and dating. You all discussed online dating and how it’s essentially a place where people put forth information that they want others to know to entice someone to click on their profiles, and we sort of “fill in the blanks” after that. This made me think of another form of online dating/relationship, catfishing. When I learn of individuals who have been catfished, or who are doing that actual catfishing, it’s both fascinating and anxiety inducing. People are engaged in these online relationships with one another and one person is not who he or she claims to be. They don’t want to video chat. Their stories don’t check out. Yet these relationships can go on for years, all the while it is based on a series of lies–lies the catfish tells in order to escape his/her own life or situation in order to entice someone to like them (unless he/she is a total psychopath), and the lies the “victim” is so willing to believe, because the catfish has become who the “victim” wants them to be. It mirrors what Alex said about our sense of self and the projection of ideals on to someone else. And didn’t Asami basically catfish Shigehuru?

    Oh, and Alex’s comment “I’m not a fucking Blockbuster dude!” made me burst out laughing in my car.

  4. Gory B Movie says:

    Fantastic discussion! I read the film much the same way and love that this is one that I can revisit find more to appreciate and dissect with each viewing. Enjoy your trip and I’ll be looking forward to the live show.

  5. Ronald Schultz says:

    This was an excellent episode. The one thing that I thought you might’ve touched on is the decline in birth rate in Japan.


    I’m not a demographer (I teach sociology) but this is a big issue in Japan and has been a concern for at least 20 years. My best source of information on this issue was a Nova documentary “World in the Balance” from 2004. They pointed out that young women were being blamed for their “selfishness.” The program featured interviews with women who expressed ambivalence about having children. The date is close to the release of Audition. It will be difficult to have traditional gender roles if women’s roles are no longer tied to childbirth–which is a good thing in my view. 😉

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