31 Days of Horror: Audition

Audition (Odishon) 1999

I'm almost reluctant to talk about this movie - it's brilliant and horrifying beyond imagine but it works better if you don't know anything about it. It's directed by prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike. Miike has a huge cult following and since 1991 he has directed over 70 movies. His movies range from a Japanese western that was shot in hard to follow English (Sukiyaki Western Django), a children's fantasy adventure film (The Great Yukai War) to the cult favorite Ichi The Killer - a movie so gory that when it was premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, barf bags were handed out to the audience members.

Audition was based on a novel and for the first hour of the movie, it plays like a romantic drama. Widower Ryo Ishibashi has decided that it's finally time to get married again but he doesn't want to be bothered with whole courtship thing. His buddy is a movie producer who comes up with a phony audition idea so that Ishibashi can pick out the woman of his dreams without having to bother with the dating process.

I'm going to stop describing the movie right there - I refuse to divulge anymore - that's almost too much information. The movie holds up pretty good on repeated viewings but the first viewing with the initial horror of watching such a film is the best. I'm reluctantly posting the trailer. I think it shows too much - it's pretty tame but there is still too much information being shown. In fact if people want to watch this movie - they should just go out and watch it. Skip the trailer.

Rider Rumbling

The Riders battle the Toronto Argonauts today at frigid Mosaic Stadium at 7 p.m. In honour of that encounter, here's the trailer for the classic 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts that details the Greek myth from whence "the Boatmen", as the Argos are somewhat derogatorily known as, derrived their name. (YouTube)

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Terry Gilliam

Before he directed 12 Monkeys, Brazil, The Fisher King and Time Bandits, Terry Gilliam was the lone American-born (Minnesota) member of Monty Python. As good as Python was, it wouldn't have had the same impact without Gilliam's unique cartoons. Gilliam animated the opening credits and hilarious, bizarre and disturbing vignettes that made the show a lot more artful and more impressive. Not surprising the guy was good; in the States he worked under Mad Magazine founder and comic legend Harvey Kurtzman*. Kurtzman didn't work with no-talent boobs (although he did work with boobs, as fans of his Playboy comic Little Annie Fannie would doubtless point out.)

Here's some classic Gilliam cartoonage, courtesy, as always, Yootoob and copyright violation.

*Gilliam's best movie, Brazil, has a hapless manager named Mr. Kurtzman, played by Ian Holm.

Pick of the Day: Crosshatch

Featuring a blend of dance, music, visual art and film, this showcase was developed by Dance Saskatchewan under the direction of artistic director Deanna Peters and includes contributions by dozens of young Saskatchewan artists. The troupe performed previously to rave reviews in Prince Albert and Saskatoon, and conclude their provincial tour with a two performances at the University of Regina's Riddell Centre -- tonight at 8 p.m, and tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. Check it out if you get a chance.