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Roman Polanski's Repulsion Essays

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Roman Polanski's Repulsion

Analysis of an aspect of visual form in the film ‘Repulsion’ In the 1964/65 film ‘Repulsion’ by Roman Polanski, the story is about the conflict between reality and fantasy or sanity and insanity inside the main character’s mind – Carol played by Catherine Deneuve. Therefore the narrative technique of symbolism is used to display visually to the film’s audience what happens to Carol’s mind. In this particular instance, the degeneration of Carol’s state of mind is symbolised.

Carol’s state of mind degenerates, or breaks down because of her repulsion of masculinity in a sexual context. Through Carol’s eyes, we see masculinity as being aggressive, obsessive, crude/sexually suggestive, rapacious and
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Obviously the camera then pans to see this – but it can hold onto the shot for longer than Carol looks at it, giving the audience a chance to understand why Carol might look at it. As her state of mind being like it is, what it symbolises only needs a casual look or glance at it from Carol. As a symbol itself, the empty ‘hut’ represents a pathway or tunnel to a ‘dark’ kind of life – one filled with despair, depression, anxiety, anger, fear, hate, and/or any other types of negative human qualities. Near the end of the film, this ‘dark’ image is shown again, just after Carol kills the landlord with the cut-throat razor. Her face is kept in shadow – an oval of near black – and is framed by her hair, which enhances this image further because it is blond.

As I have implied before, Carol’s understanding of life around her is distorted. She frequently sees cracks appearing in walls – which can be read as cracks in her mind. In one instance, Carol sees a crack in the pavement on her way to work. She becomes engrossed by it, and sits down on a bench by it to simply look at it. The shot of the crack taken over her right shoulder shows that the crack runs between her feet. It then splits into two cracks, making the entire crack look like a ‘Y’. This suggests that it is used as a symbol to show two paths in life to take: the first being the good, realistic or sane path; the other being the bad, fantastic or insane path. Her boyfriend then finds her claiming
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