Matt Herron’s Audition is an exciting and original quasi-documentary that fuses together footage from an audition process where fifty couples (yes, that’s one hundred actors) vie for the final position of being the leading man and woman in a movie; the footage the couples film are then taken and spliced together to form the narrative movie they are auditioning for. Thus, you have both an intriguing documentary which focuses on the behind-the-scenes life of the audition process (with interesting discussions on how much of the role you take with you, thoughts on the story they are filming and one rather humourous excursion for what is known as the ‘cock-sock’ – these are just a few of the subjects the actors discuss) while also having the joy of watching a nearly seventy page script brought to life by numerous actors.
In the post film question-and-answer period with Matt Herron, he explained his thought process about the two alternating stories by comparing it to a pendulum swinging back and forth, as we are always being transported between the two narratives. Perhaps pendulum is the best word for it, as the film is absolutely mesmerizing. What starts as a rather typical documentary mixed with a romantic movie, slowly turns into a visual cacophony as the romantic story turns violent and the final pairing of actor and actress clash on screen. As that pendulum slows and the two stories converge, we are treated to a rare vision of life and art meeting to create an unbelievable cinematic experience.
Herron does a superb job on both sides of the story. His documentary alone would be a worthy watch for any film fan and the same can be said for the movie portion, yet when fused together you have something very special. The numerous actors and actresses also deserve credit, as each couple brings an interesting and unique dynamic to the scene they are performing. Finally, Herron’s final shots of the narrative portion of the movie are sure to make any cinephile’s head explode. That’s a wrap.