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Repulsion

 

This 1965 film is a character study of a young French girl who is repulsed and attracted by sex.  Left alone when her sister goes on vacation, her façade of stability begins to crack, with violent and bizarre results.  Polanski's first film in English and his first publicly accepted full-length feature.  Suspenseful, disturbing and potent.  Catherine Deneuve stars as the young woman.  In addition to directing the film, Polanski also helped write the screenplay.

 

Roman Polanski is one of the world's finest filmmakers.  His body of work includes: Chinatown, The Tenant, and Rosemary's Baby.   His early Polish work includes:  Knife in the Water, Fat and the Lean, Two Men and a Wardrobe. 

 

He frequently appears in his own films and often plays a very mentally disturbed character.  One can argue, given his personal history and how he had to leave the United States in order to avoid being arrested, that he is a very creative but emotionally unstable person.

 

When the film first came out, Bosley Crowther reviewed it for The New York Times and said: "Within the maelstrom of violence and horror in this film, Mr. Polanski has achieved a haunting concept of the pain and pathos of the mentally deranged.  He has delivered undoubtedly one of the best films of the year." 

 

Key question:  Do you have to be mentally unstable in order to effectively develop a film about a mentally unstable person?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of developing stories about people that have problems similar to your own?

 

Another key question: What does the final scene where you see the family picture tell you? 

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