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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:36 pm  Post subject: Repulsion (1965)
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http://www.anchorbay.co.uk/perl/search.pl?CO=ABD4230
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Yvonne Furneaux, John Fraser,
Ian Hendry, Patrick Wymark, Valerie Taylor, Roman Polanski


Repulsion was Roman Polanski's first film in English and gave him the commercial success he required in order to realise a script of three years standing, Cul-De-Sac (1966). Considering how cheaply it was made (Pound 95,000) the film achieves an astounding elegance due largely to the simple setting and to the camera work of Gilbert Taylor. Polanski uses Deneuve's flawless face to play on assumptions regarding such perfect beauty; making the world of surface appearances contradict the world of inner chaos that comprises Carol's mind. This dichotomy of external and internal is present throughout the film and serves as its structure.

The challenge for Polanski was to successfully find a style which could demarcate Carol's internal and public worlds. Given that the film is based upon an opposition between the objectivity of London and the subjectivity of Carol's dementia, it is appropriate to examine the stylistic expression of these two worlds. Polanski's chief stylistic device is Gilbert Taylor's masterful black and white photography; the dichotomy of shadows produces a sinister atmosphere of anxiety in the viewer. That the blonde Deneuve is played-off against the raven-haired Yvonne Furneaux represents this psychological splitting. The result of such a (split) pairing is to create an image of opposites, suggesting the director's own divided attitude towards life in Sixties London. The high contrast between the patches of black and white space or lighting in the film are part of a subtle strategy. They transform the world of external appearances into something resembling an inner world of alienation and dislocation. The film's strongest visual correlative for the dementia that overtakes Carol is the apartment itself. By its end as Carol walks around the main living area in her nightgown the afternoon sun, gleaming between the curtains, illuminates the room with long beams that make it seem larger than it was at the begining. Light and the space itself, (or rather perspective) is used to convey the out-of-kilter state of Carol's mind. The very apartment becomes something of a symbolic womb. Thus, when Colin breaks his way into the apartment, the act is presented in terms which equate his penetration of the space with symbolic rape. The motif of the peep-hole suggests that the sexual connation that the apartment has gained in the course of the film. The sprouting hands in Carol's visions of ravishment adds to the sense of the apartment as a sexualised space and entity; even the cracking walls take on a hymenal meaning. Indeed, the apartment maybe Carol's only possible lover: whereas her visions of male ravishment are always horrible, her home seems to provide her with a moment of consented-to abandonment.



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Repulsion abounds with photographic effects which serve to distort the vision or otherwise alienate us from the physical environment. In particular, one striking shot appears twice in the film. Carol's sister is sitting watching television. She is seated on one side, occupying a third of the frame. The television occupies its opposite third. The middle third is empty, but for Carol, busying herself with something unclear in the background. The use of wide angle lens, extremely low vantage point (at an almost Ozu-like level) and deep-perspective compostion creates a disturbing sense of the growing distance between the two sisters.

If we agree, however, that the film presents us with two visions of the world, it becomes necessary to ask which of the two Polanski favours. This question lies at the heart of the film and of our response to it. How much of that repulsion is Carol's and how much Polanski's? That Carol is repelled by sex and men is not difficult to see; the film, however, is also about a more pervasive response to people in general. It may be Polanski's dark, misanthropic side or just his own critical view on the Sixties that I am reacting to here. Watching Repulsion I can't help thinking of Antonioni's Blow Up (1966) made in the year following Repulsion especially since the Antonioni film also ends with the possible madness of its central character. A more disconcerting correspondence between the two films is the sense of dismay, if not outright disgust, that both directors display towards the Sixties and its ethos. In this respect it is also worth comparing Repulsion with other films of the period which the Cinémathèque is screening this year: particularly Demy's The Model Shop (1968), Lester's Petulia (1968), and Penn's Mickey One (1964).

In many ways, Repulsion is especially a dark reversal of Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946) to the point where Polanski uses a variation of the arms-in-the-wall trick employed by Cocteau. However, where Cocteau hands were enchantingly holding candelabra, Polanski makes them figures of violence; and where Cocteau had his trapped blonde beauty half-fearful-of, half-desiring intimacy with the Beast, in Repulsion Carol is both beauty and beast in one, and never anything but fearful of intimacy.

As the first shot of the film suggests, eyes and the gaze play an important part in articulating the descent into madness that is the film's fundamental project. It is because of this that Carol is constantly looking or looked at (our own gaze is not without its sinister or voyeuristic aspect). The hallucinations which increase in frequency as the film progresses are geared towards this over-arching principle. The changes in perspective, the play of shadows, the moving of walls and ceilings, all present us with Carol's subjective experiences.



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As Andrew Sarris points out: "By forcing the audience to share the girl's demented point of view, Polanski manages to implicate them in irrational uncertainty of the plot... the girl is beyond redemption and rehabilitation, even beyond reason, but we still worry about when and how society will invade her subjective world."(1) I think there can be no doubt that however perverse or threatening Carol's subjective world is, it remains more compelling than anything to be found in the external world. As audience, we are implicitly asked to make a choice precisely because Polanski's method requires it of us, and because cathartically the film requires us to take sides. In my case, Carol's.

Michael Filippidis
1. Andrew Sarris: Confessions of a Cultist: on the Cinema 1955-69, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1971, pp.209-210
* Patrick Wymark also appears in The Witchfinder General screening Febuary/March & June.
http://cs.art.rmit.edu.au/projects/medi ... lsion.html


Quote:
Name.........: Repulsion - Roman Polanski - 1965. ingles.avi
Filesize.....: 700 MB (or 717,774 KB or 735,000,576 bytes)
Runtime......: 01:44:50 (150,813 fr)
Video Codec..: XviD
Video Bitrate: 806 kb/s
Audio Codec..: 0x0055(MP3) ID'd as MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 120 kb/s, monophonic VBR
Frame Size...: 560x336 (1.67:1) [=5:3]
(thx, unknown ripper)

ed2k: Repulsion.-.Roman.Polanski.-.1965..ingles.avi  [700.95 Mb] [Stats]


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:01 pm  Post subject:
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GREAT FLICK :D :D :D

Got it on VHS so i won't grab, but i highly reccomend it..

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:06 pm  Post subject:
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does ingles mean english (and hence, dubbed)?

Thank you for the link!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 8:13 pm  Post subject:
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spudthedestroyer wrote:
does ingles mean english (and hence, dubbed)?

Thank you for the link!


No need to thank me, Spud.
Some unknown netizen made
this rip. I invested just a bit of
time to make a quick presentation
for this masterpiece of film art.
It's a real b/w classic for your
database, if you ask me.
Yvonne Furneaux and Catherine
Deneuve appear with more or
less audiable French accent.
Whilst all the other actors speak
original English.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:26 pm  Post subject:
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Actual filename.

NFOrce

ed2k: Repulsion.1965.DVDRip.XviD-iMBT.avi  [700.95 Mb] [Stats]
ed2k: Repulsion.1965.DVDRip.XviD-iMBT.nfo  [5.9 Kb] [Stats]

[ Add all 2 links to your ed2k client ]


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:10 pm  Post subject:
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spudthedestroyer wrote:
does ingles mean english (and hence, dubbed)?

I think Ingles is Spanish for English, I could be wrong. Dubbed? According to IMDB it was filmed in English :?

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