Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Audition (1999)

Asami: Words create lies. 
Pain can be trusted. 

In the 25 years that Takashi Miike has been making movies he has made one hundred of them, according to IMDb. And while math might not be my strong suit I am fairly certain that works out to a whole helluva lot of work -- four fucking projects every fucking year. That is insane. While Audition was the first time his movie-making traveled far and wide it wasn't the last - the problem just became the impossibility of keeping up. I doubt he even has time to keep up and see everything he makes. 

This decade brought the great 13 Assassins (my review) and the equally great Lesson of the Evil (my review) but otherwise I haven't seen... oh wait, I did see Yakuza Apocalypse, I forgot about that one! See what I mean? Impossible. Anyway my point is I couldn't even begin to make a comprehensive list of what you need to see from his output because even as a person who tries I've barely put a dent in it. But here are five titles, besides his masterpiece Audition, that I remember fondly.

Lesson of the Evil (2012) -- Okay I just mentioned it but seriously I wish more people had caught this horror comedy that would be sold to a US studio for a remake as "American Psycho meets To Sir, With Love" -- not that any US studio would bite onto a sexy (hello Hideaki Itô!) dark comedy about school violence. Which is our loss! Heathers would probably never get made today either.

"Imprint" from Masters of Horror (2006) -- a bit of a cheat since it's an episode from a TV show but it was so far beyond what most everyone else delivered for Showtime's horror series that they wouldn't even air it, and it earned that distinction, and then some.

Gozu (2003) -- I have only seen this movie (his ode to his own master, Mr. David Lynch) once and it was probably not long after it came out so it's been over a dozen years but I reference it all the time. If you've seen it you can probably guess which part I am refericing, but then you're probably wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I live a life that I'd reference such a thing all the time... a high life, y'all. A high life.

The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) -- His gore-soaked sunshine musical must be seen to be believed, but you probably still won't believe it even after you've seen it. Belongs a spot in the pantheon alongside Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles (although what pantheon these two movies stand in ya got me)

Dead or Alive (1999) -- I wasn't sure whether to give this fifth spot to Ichi the Killer or to Visitor Q but truth be told I've only watched Ichi in fits and spurts (emphasis on spurts) because I always find it too disturbing to keep up with, and I don't remember enough of Visitor Q to really warrant singing of its praises, although I know it's very fondly thought of by most Miike fans. So let's go with Dead or Alive, (although I'm not sure which of the trilogy I'm remembering; they've bled together at this point) which has what is probably the most insane fight scene I had ever seen up until that point. It stuck. 

Thanks for the memories (nightmares)
and happy birthday, Takashi!


Unknown said...

Awesome, I'll check these out! I loved audition and watched it for the first time last year. Haven't seen anything else of his. I'll have to have a marathon soon.

Professor Chaos said...

Audition freaked me out when I first saw it. But then I wanted to see as many Miike movies as I could. Our local video store only had Ishi the Killer and the Happiness of the katakaris, but I enjoyed both of those a lot.