|Fig 1. Repulsion poster (1965)|
The 1965 film Repulsion by Roman Polanski is one of few that gives us an insight into the mind of someone who feels out of place with the stereotype of the time period. “Seemingly the last virgin in London, she (Carol) soon finds herself fighting a rear-guard action against the sexual revolution.” (Kehr, 2009)
Polanski made the film at a time when women were starting to take control of their own lives. The 1960s saw the introduction of contraception meaning that they could decide the outcome of having sex with whoever they please. Beforehand sex was only seen as something for making children, and not something for pleaser, therefor consigning it only to those who were married. If a woman had a child out of marriage than she would been shunned by society but contraception started to stop this stigma. However, the main character Carol wants nothing to do with sex, men in particular. She seems to be psychology scared of them as they make their advances at her.
|Fig 2. Crack in the wall (1965)|
Apart from the Carol’s behaviour the only way to understand what she is going through is the apartment which takes on a life of its own and almost becomes another character in the film to the point where you would expect to see it in the opening credits. “There can't be many other films which so plausibly show an entire, warped world created from a single point of view.” (Bradshaw, 2013) The apartment becomes a metaphor for her mental stage with warped and decaying rooms, sudden cracks in the walls and grabbing hands coming out of the walls as if to tell the viewer that Carol is literally cracking up and she is starting to think that her fears coming to life.
One trick Polanski uses to help give the viewer an understanding of how bored Carol is in the flat in by using long uncut shots that show her moving around or not doing a lot. “The carefully wrought camera set ups and methodical pace border on boredom as the film wears on, slowly charting the disintegration of Carol’s last shreds of sanity.” (Biodrowski, 2009) With this we can partly relate to her as we all at some point know what it’s like to be home alone without anyone to talk with the feeling that the day is slowly ticking away. This also acts to add suspense keeping the viewer guessing as to what part of the apartment might start to take on a life of its own again.
The male and female characters are most separated throughout the film in the places that they were mostly found in the 1960s, the woman spend their day at the salon with the men spending they time in the pub. It was very uncommon for one to be in the other’s space as at that time period men and women stayed out of each other way and acted like it would damage their gender role if they were show an interest, woman would be seen as being a prostitute and men would be accused of being gay.
The only time one gender would have any interest in the other was when it came to the bed room, a place where someone like Carol should feel safe but instead feels just as threatened there as she does when she is walking to work.
- · Figure 1. Repulsion poster (1965) [Poster] At: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/repulsion/pictures/#&gid=1&pid=h-24 (Accessed on 23.11.2016)
- · Figure 2. Crack in the wall (1965) [Film still] At: https://ccpopculture.com/2013/07/10/repulsion-1965/ (Accessed on 27.11.2016)
- · Biodrowski, Steve. (2009) Repulsion (1965) – Horror Film Review. At: http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2009/07/repulsion-1965-horror-film-review/ (Accessed on 07.12.2016)
- · Kehr, Dave. (2009) A Woman Repulsed, a Man Convulsed At: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/movies/homevideo/26kehr.html (Accessed on 07.12.2016)
- · Bradshaw, Peter. (2013) Repulsion - review At: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jan/03/repulsion-review (Accessed on 23.11.2016)