Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Repulsion Roman Polanski 1965
Now from the very beginning moment, whilst the credits were rolling, this film to me automatically struck me as more of an artic film, in comparison to setting out to please the audience, it was obvious that it went in anyway but that direction, conveyed through the close up of an individuals eye , with it’s iris fluttering around, it already caused a great deal of unease to an element of the human body we are all ‘Familiar’ with…even in the first few scene following, there was a lot of focus on the lead roles personal space, and invading it on a constant level, as though watching her through the eyes of another individual, following her through the streets….
The character herself (Carol) appears as thought a very timid individual, inward and distant from those around her, she shy’s away from physical contact, she appears to be in some sort of, dreamlike state almost, which can be further conveyed through her blank facial expressions, she lacks actual character, which is one of the most interesting parts of the film, in fact, the only times we are allowed a clear insight is through the use of others around, for instance, the saloon where she works, when the discuss the male element, she quietly listens in, as well as her sister, playing the biggest part of her life, almost like a mother, and when the mother element is taken away, things start to turn for the worst....
As well as also giving us an insight as to why she feels the way she does about men, her only account of them through the words of other peoples interactions and experiences, she’s hears nothing but womanizing stories, and in hindsight, her only escape from this is her home, but even so, that has been ‘invaded’ by the male element, for instance, hearing her sister having frequent sex at midnight with her lover (who is married), reaching climax, and then giving her the cold shoulder afterwards…
Within the films context, that being set in the chic 60’s, where there was a lot of ‘Free Love’ roaming around that specific time period, and it seems rather strange that someone like Carol would be so against men, to the point of washing her teeth franticly from a kiss of a male, as well as drastic measures which lead to the downward spiral of her sanity to point where she is driven to murder, which we witness through both metaphorical value, which begins subtle at first, with diffracted reflections, dark, disorienting corridors, immersed in shadows, the frequent brushing of her skin (as thought it‘s crawling) to more serious elements, like the gradually increasing cracks in the wall (symbolic of her mental state) the misplacemtn of objects, the rotting flesh of rabbit, it’s carcass riddled with flies and food (perhaps signifying evil, bad moments as well as time) not to mention her silent attacker (first appearing in mirrors briefly, as though imagined, then taking what appears to be a physical from)who sexually assualt her with the ringing of the midnight bells (In juxtaposition to her sister having sex) to the point where hands start to molest her, protruding from the walls itself (her house almost like a cell, confinement, raping her)
To further portray this, the infrequent repetitiveness of water dropping, kettles boiling, and the absence of sound itself, such as the silent rape scene, moments within the house itself, that have no background music, really give a different sense of space and time within the fill, sound only really signalling the arrival of men, which generally focuses on a bad element…(anything ranging from bells tolling, the out of synch, high pitched jazz)
Without giving to much away about the films ending, to me, on a personal level, it really didn’t feel as satisfying as the rest of the film, although I did like the way in which it was left open ended, to leave the viewer thinking whether or not there was in fact people in the house, or just her deranged imagination, hallucinating.... but the rest of the film certainly gave a good use of metaphors, a fantastic use of chilling cinematography and sound, and most definitely one want to watch when exploring similar themes within film….especially the uncanny……..and the manipulation of someone’s ‘Home’