REPULSION Criterion Blu-ray Review
The history of Roman Polanski is almost as fascinating as his best films. Born in Poland, he survived the holocaust, and married Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family.
In the late 70’s he fled America because he was charged with rape in a nasty public case that has led many to decry the artist as a terrible human being. Polanski may be a miserable little shit of a human being, but he also directed Knife in the Water, Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Pianist. He also directed one of the greatest feminist horror movies with Repulsion. If absolutely nothing else, the man is filled with interesting contradictions. My review is after the jump.
From the get go, Carole is objectified by men, and work conversations often turn to men. None of this interests Carole. There is a brief intimation that Carole is a lesbian, but she’s also pre-sexual in her way. When her boyfriend wants to make out she runs away. Her boyfriend’s friends pressure Colin into moving faster, as all they care about is getting into people’s pants. But the longer Carole spends on her own, the more she falls into her own paranoia.
The Criterion collection’s Blu-ray is a stunner. The film is presented widescreen (1.78:1) and in 1.0 mono, and the black and white photography is breathtaking. The image is revelatory, and suggests how great Blu-ray can be for older films if transferred well. Also included is a commentary by Polanski and Denevue, recorded for the Criterion laserdisc of ages past. Also included is the Blue Underground documentary “A British Horror Film” (24 min.) which talks to Polanski, DP Gil Taylor, production designer Seamus Flannery, producer Gene Gutowski and executive producer Ton Tenser. It speaks more to the making and release than the commentary, and is laudatory. “Grand Ecan” (22) was done for French television and shows the film being shot, and features interviews with Polanski and Deneuve. Also included are two trailers.