Christian’s Cinematic Syntax: Repulsion (1965) Review

*Warning: discussion of sexual assault and trauma ahead*

*Spoilers ahead*

Roman Polanski is a filmmaker difficult to write about for obvious reasons. Some may refuse to engage with the work directed by him, and it was an easy decision for me to review this film. For me, this review is very personal. I did not intend to write on Repulsion until after I reflected on my own experiences. I sat contemplating the film and if it would be better not to speak on it because of the disgrace of the director. In my reflection, I concluded that I am compelled to speak on it. Some may not agree, but I was struck with how the material unfolds. I was struck by how the film portrays the horrors of the psyche in Carol (Catherine Deneuve) and the apartment she inhabits with her sister. Additionally, I saw the immigrant experience also come into play in Repulsion through Carol and her sister, which only compelled me to speak further. As with the execution, I appreciate the film’s ability to communicate and navigate difficult subject matter and taboo through the horror-thriller genre. The haunting depictions of our main character’s trauma shocked me to my core, which I only ever felt when viewing Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (1981), another psychological horror film. When looking at both of these films, I saw deterioration and gradual decline, which I felt was an essential component to accurately portraying this subject matter. In Possession, Zulawski explores the deterioration of a marriage, while Repulsion shows the deterioration of a woman’s sanity from what we can interpret stems from trauma and abuse.

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Get Your Restraining Orders Ready: An Analysis of Lifetime’s “You”

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The last time I watched a Lifetime show, Dance Moms was still on the air, and I was rooting for the dancing queen underdog Chloe to get the recognition she deserved from her verbally abusive dance instructor. So it has been years since I’ve visited the channel and only the high acclaim of a Big Brother podcaster and a need to fulfill my mystery fix brought me to the new Lifetime show, You.

The psychological thriller and drama follows full-time bookstore manager and part-time stalker Joe (played by Penn Badgley, Gossip Girl). He finds the woman of his dreams in aspiring writer Beck (played by Elizabeth Lail, Dead of Summer) pushing him to avidly stalk her. The show was 48 minutes of tears, new fears, suspense, and the biggest OMG moment when I saw Shay Mitchell (who acted in my beloved guilty pleasure, Pretty Little Liars) pop up on my TV screen.

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