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A young woman with eyes wide open in disbelief.

Film

Repulsion

M

5 Nov - 8 Nov

Polanski achieves the disquieting effect of distorting Catherine Deneuve's startling beauty in his – and Deneuve's – English language debut. Repulsion is an unnerving psychological horror that couldn't be less concerned with the Swinging London zeitgeist of the times.

Polanski instead focuses on an increasingly claustrophobic filmic space in which Carol (Deneuve), a reclusive and unstable young woman left alone for a few days in her sister’s Kensington flat, begins to unravel.

Tickets: Full $17. Concession $13. Member $10.
  • Working once more with a low budget, Polanski’s exploration of repression and psychosis is impressively atmospheric. One of his masterstrokes was to cast a talented but still relatively unknown (outside of France) Deneuve, whose beauty was distorted by the use of unflattering wide-angle lenses. Polanski’s vision was enhanced by the contribution of cinematographer Gilbert Taylor whom Polanski enlisted after seeing his work on Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (1964).

    Taylor’s shadowy black and white cinematography lends an eerie quality to seemingly innocuous shots of Carol’s drab London flat. Invigorated and inspired by shooting in London, Repulsion develops some of the darker impulses Polanski would continue to incorporate in his work, in particular the isolation, paranoia and claustrophobia that would be visited upon characters in later films such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Tenant.