Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Movie of the Month - June - Repulsion

By Sati. Tuesday, June 5, 2012 ,
 I must get this crack mended

Repulsion, the movie by Roman Polanski, is a chilling tale of the young, strange and very beautiful woman named Carol. She is very timid and fearful of everything around her and she looks as if she was made out of porcelain - so delicate that if you touched her, she would break into million pieces. Carol is especially afraid of men, whether they are just passing by her or trying to have a date with her.

When Carol is left alone in the apartment after her sister goes on a trip with her boyfriend her sanity starts collapsing, fast. She has violent hallucinations of getting raped, she sees cracks in the walls and she carries rabbit that was prepared for dinner around in her pierce.

Repulsion, along with The Tenant and Rosemary's Baby, is the part of Apartment Trilogy where the protagonist is losing her or his mind in his very own home, somewhere where we are supposed to feel safe, our very own haven. It is a threat that comes within us, but is somehow externalised in the surroundings which results only in accelerating the madness. This one is my favorite out of three, mostly because the movie up until the very ending doesn't break the point of view narrative where we only see what Carol sees. The ending shows us the reality and lets us see Carol's madness through other people's eyes.

Catherine Deneuve is amazing as Carol, at times looking a little bit like Sissy Spacek. Deneuve was so young in this movie and it should also be noted that it is the last black and white movie Polanski made. To see such bold themes in a movie from 1965 is truly refreshing as nowadays the filmmakers rarely show courage anymore.

Polanski uses fantastic symbols to reflect the state of Carol's mind - potatoes that were left uneaten for a long time, rotting rabbit, cracks in the walls, distorted reflections in objects. A lot of movies were inspired by this one, including Black Swan. The most obvious reference to Repulsion, where Nina finds a dead rat on the subway station and stares at it, unfortunately didn't make it to the movie. Other works inspired by Repulsion include music videos for The Cardigans Hanging Around and Metric's Monster Hospital and films - May, Scissors and another Darren Aronofsky's film - Pi..

The whole movie is so complex and intriguing - we do not know what is wrong with Carol and why she is going insane. The film's chilling ending focusing on one photograph is genuinely creepy as it either suggest abuse or just underlines the fact that Carol was always so "off", staring into space with empty eyes

Review of the film - here.


Previous movies of the month:

 

20 comments:

  1. I think I watched this last year and all I could think about it how much Black Swan borrows from this picture. Especially the nasty fingernail stuff. Creepy.

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    1. I think the fingernails are also a homage for "The Fly", but yes the film borrows a lot from Polanski's trilogy.

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  2. I have this film on my DVR queue. I'm definitely going to see this around the summer. More likely next month as there's not a lot of films in the way that I'm required to see in relation to some of the projects I'm doing like the Bond marathon.

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    1. I really need to check out your posts on that, I love Bond movies with Connery! I hope you'll like Repulsion, it's really a great, creepy film.

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  3. This may very well be my favorite Polanski movie. Glad to see it's your movie of the month.

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    1. It is my fav by him too, closely followed by The Tenant.

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  4. Love, love, love this film! The similarities with Black Swan are definitely too hard to ignore, as well. Probably one of the reasons why I am not a fan of Black Swan - feels too much like a combination of this film and Perfect Blue for my liking.

    Nice write up, as always, though!

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    1. thank you! Perfect Blue is really a lot like Black Swan, but I like the latter better :)

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  5. You do love a GIF huh? I have given up on making them... I really must get back on the horse!!

    I haven't seen this, but I am very intrigued.

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    1. You reallly should check it out!

      I love gifs, they make posts more 'alive' :)

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  6. Looks like really nasty stuff from the pics. Sounds like a must see from your words. Putting it on my rental list now. I didn't really like Rosemary's Baby that much so hope I find it better than that member of the Apartment trilogy!

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    1. It's more of a claustrophobic, intense psychological thriller than RB. It's not that gory, but it's very creepy.

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  7. Wow! These images alone seem to capture the mood of the film and has indeed made it look VERY interesting!!

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    1. Thanks! There are many great shots in the movie, the camera work is quite remarkable.

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  8. Oh, my friend Vince talked about this movie quite a bit, I'll send this review to him. He did like Catherine Deneuve in her earlier roles, well naturally :D

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    1. I honestly think she is one of the most beautiful actresses in history.

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  9. Repulsion is teriffic. My taste in film tends to lean more towards the contemporary, but I'd still call Repulsion one of the very scariest and most unsettling films I've ever seen. The scene alone where Carol barricades herself into her bedroom at night is terrifying.

    Those are some great images and gifs you have selected too. Wonderful post!

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    1. Thank you! Glad you like this one, it is quite terrifying movie, especially that this poor girl is so helpless.

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  10. I have always wanted to see this one, but been a little afraid to .... maybe, one day :)

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    1. It's not that scary, it's more psychologically heavy, moving film.

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