Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) is a lonely widower looking for a mate, a dream girl or perhaps merely a receptacle for his misery. Pretending to audition women for a TV show, he finds Asami (Eihi Shiina), who will both bring his lust to boiling and knock his fantasies into agonizing reality. “Words create lies,” Asami sagely says. “Pain can be trusted.” She tests that trust by severing a foot with piano wire and employing a method of needle probing we might call eye-cupuncture. The crafty, impossibly prolific Takashi Miike — he has directed 75 movies and TV films since 1971 — is a master of the grotesque in many genres. (Catch his comix fantasy Fudoh: The New Generation, his yakuza drama Gozu and the indescribably strange family epic Visitor Q.) But unlike Saw and its imitators in the genre of torture porn, Audition doesn’t go for gore-ific money shots. Miike’s films live inside their characters, taking the temperature of their longings, the ridiculous ambitions they chase so obsessively and their need to experience the extreme to prove they’re alive.