So, I just got through watching Audition the Japanese horror movie.

for those who are unfamiliar with it, the premise is that a middle- aged widower decides to remarry and in order to find the "perfect wife" he and a film producer friend decide to stage auditions for a would-be reality show, ostensibly auditioning women to star in the show, but actually looking for a potentially bride for this guy. Which might be fine, I suppose, were it not for the fact that the woman he ultimately sets his heart on turns out to be a lovely, demure but (in her less demure moments) utterly insane and depraved serial killer.

Go figure.
But what's really interesting about this movie is that you really have no idea that that's where the movie is going until you're something like 44 minutes in. There are some earlier foreshadowings that things might not be what they appear with this girl but not a lot earlier.
Really, if you didn't know going in, as most people surely do, that this was a horror movie, you could easily watch thirty minutes of this thing and have no idea that that's where the story was going.

It really is sort of an amazing story choice when you watch it but you could really show a half hour of this thing to somebody who knew nothing about it, stop it and ask okay, where's this going?

They could easily, based on what we've seen, answer that it's a straight love story, a romantic comedy (the audition sequences are certainly milked for comedy), a thriller or maybe just maybe a horror movie although there's absolutely nothing horrifying, not a scene, not a shot, not an image in the first half hour.

It's difficult for me to think of another movie that started quite as generically that is, began telling a story in such a way that it might easily fit any number of different genres or go in any number of different directions before slamming you quite as dramatically along what would seem (based on what came before) as one of the less likely tracks which is that of a full-bore graphic horror movie.

NMS
I was immediately attracted to the title when this came out, seeing as how I'm involved in theater. But the reviews GAVE THE SECRET AWAY.

Back around 1971 or so, a few years after the riots in Newark and Detroit, I saw a Broadway play titled We Interrupt This Evening. It started off as a mildly amusing comedy about upper-class manners, set in the parlor of a luxurious house. Then there was the burst of a machine gun. Some angry Black Panthers strode up the aisle and announced that they were taking this audience of rich stuck-up honkeys hostage. They "shot dead" a few audience members to prove they were serious. That was what the play really was, a thriller. But the cover of the Playbill also kind of gave it away.
I was immediately attracted to the title when this came out, seeing as how I'm involved in theater. But the reviews GAVE THE SECRET AWAY.

Sad but true. Luckily, I was able to see it in a theatre, before I'd read the reviews. All I knew was that it was a horror film, and a fairly intense one, and I sat there for the first however long it was thinking, 'when does this thing actually START?' Okay, to be fair, I was also thinking how brutal and dehumanizing it must be to be an actress in Japan. Apparently they have to come in and read lines and what-not (like everywhere) but also write essays and suchlike, just to get a job? How much does THAT suck?
Back around 1971 or so, a few years after the riots in Newark and Detroit, I saw a Broadway play ... was what the play really was, a thriller. But the cover of the Playbill also kind of gave it away.

That sounds really cool - did the execution live up to the premise? Think I'll look for that one; sounds like a good read, and potentially more.

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I saw SIXTH SENSE at a test screening - no idea what it was. The first time the kid says "I see dead people" is about an hour into the film. Until that point, it was the most "What the hell kinda boring drama is this?" movie I'd ever seen. After that, it becomes a supernatural film with ghosts and spooky little girl ghosts.
Brian DePalma's HI MOM! has a play like that in it called THE BLACK EXPERIENCE - where the audience is taken hostage and treated like crap for 2 hours, then released. "Clive Barnes was right!" is the punchline for that skit.
- Bill
I was immediately attracted to the title when this came out, seeing as how I'm involved in theater.  But the reviews GAVE THE SECRET AWAY. Back around 1971 or so, a few years after the riots in Newark and Detroit, I saw a Broadway play titled We Interrupt This Evening.  It started off as a mildly amusing comedy about upper-class manners, set in the parlor of a luxurious house.  Then there was the burst of a machine gun.  Some angry Black Panthers strode up the aisle and announced that they were taking this audience of rich stuck-up honkeys hostage.  They "shot dead" a few audience members to prove they were serious.  That was what the play really was, a thriller.  But the cover of the Playbill also kind of gave it away.

OyamO, my playwriting teacher at U-M, had a story about this one play called Blackness, which took place in the dark. You wouldn't exactly be sure when the show started, so the opening dialogue would be like, "Has the play started already?" "Is this the actual play?" "Wow, interesting."
People enjoyed the experience, but really all that was happening was the company taking the box office receipts, locking all the people inside, and going down to the corner bar to have a couple of drinks.
But what's really interesting about this movie is that you really have no idea that that's where the movie is ... you could easily watch thirty minutes of this thing and have no idea that that's where the story was going.

Yeah. That's one of the reasons I walked out.

alt.flame Special Forces
"The chief business of the nation, as a nation, is the setting up of heroes, mainly bogus." H.L. Mencken
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
On Oct 31, 12:51 pm, "Avoid normal situations."
But what's really interesting about this movie is that you ... have no idea that that's where the story was going.

Yeah. That's one of the reasons I walked out.

And one of the reasons I started watching it around a couple years ago, having heard how great it was, gave up on it and only just now came back to it when I found that it had shown up on the Netflix "on demand" feature.
And I don't really think it's great, but I think it's definitely worth watching, if only for the very odd structure because even when we find out what the deal is (or think we've found out) with the girl, the movie still doesn't follow anything like the course you'd expect. It just keeps zigging and zagging in very weird directions.

So while it's structure is definitely bizarre, I don't think you can say, having watched it, that these were mistakes in structure. All of these odd decisions were definitely all made with a clear intention in mind.
Maybe we simply come at it with a different aesthetic (not so hard to imagine when you look at a lot of Japanese cinema). But there's something to be said for this story that starts out almost as a romantic comedy of manners and by the time you're done, it's dragged you into this ghastly taboo-riddled visually assaultive nightmare.

NMS
On Oct 31, 9:51 am, "Avoid normal situations."
But what's really interesting about this movie is that you ... have no idea that that's where the story was going.

Yeah. That's one of the reasons I walked out. alt.flame Special Forces "The chief business of the nation, as a nation, is the setting up of heroes, mainly bogus."                                         H.L. Mencken

Ya should have stayed.
W : )