Friday, 13 December 2013

Repulsion Film Review- Mise-en-scene

Repulsion 1965
Directed by Roman Polanski

Repulsion original film poster (1965)

The first English language film from director Roman Polanski. Repulsion is a psychological thriller that follows the character Carol ledoux(Catherine Deneuve) who gradually spirals into insanity, experiencing hallucinations and deranged states in which she results in murdering. One element that is key to this films success is the use of the set. As the story progresses and Carol's mental state deteriorates, the set warps and transforms to symbolise this change in mental state, eventually resembling aspects of a horror film.

Fig2: set and environment begins to change, with walls splitting

As she descends further into madness, the cluttered apartment suddenly expands in size, resembling a huge and cavernous expanse of darkness and menace.  From this huge space we move to the claustrophobic confines of a corridor whose walls excrete arms, groping and caressing Carole as she crawls towards her bedroom. This scene invokes the famous scene in Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bete (1945) where Belle enters the castle through a corridor full of candelabras held by real human arms poking through the walls, creating a somewhat surreal world. The arms are meant to symbolise the unconscious fears faced by Carol, due to her OCD fear of being touched.

Fig3: Hands expelling from wall
  Overall this film was a truly enigmatic and nightmarish film, that delves into the psychosis of a character in depth

Fig1: film poster

Fig2: Set and environment begins to change, with walls splitting

Fig3: Hands expelling from wall


  1. Hi Sam,

    See link:

  2. see link!