When it comes to praise, anyone who is familiar with Roman Polanski also knows that he’s never going to win any awards for his person. An individual who fled the US to avoid jail, to put it kindly, the man is no Fred Rogers. While a talented director at his best, as with the work of any quality artist, his best still deserves to be addressed irrespective of his shitty nature as a person.
Which brings me to his great 1965 film Repulsion. ‘Pay attention to what she does,’ might be the best advice when experiencing this film for the first time. Few screenplays achieve such a level of depth through minimal use of dialogue. Firstly, let us examine the subject. Carole (Catherine Deneuve) is a beautiful young woman who shares a London flat with her sister Helen (Yvonne Furneaux). Right away, we notice there is something off about her. She works as a manicurist for a high-end salon and is prone to ‘spacing out.’ She appears easily distracted and distant. Meanwhile, Helen is having an affair with a married man whom Carole does not like. ‘So this is the beautiful younger sister,’ he says patronizingly while pinching her cheek. Disgusted, Carole pulls away. She also does not like that he places his toothbrush and razor in her cup, which she comes to throw away, and is ultimately chastised by Helen as a result. […]