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Repulsion and Innocence in Modern Society Essay

  • Submitted by: kasra12321
  • on March 2, 2013
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,993 words

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Below is an essay on "Repulsion and Innocence in Modern Society" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Society seems paradoxical in its reverence for innocence and purity, while at the same

time indulging in the very hedonistic lifestyle it so condemns. Sober productivity to work and

sexual purity are exalted, but everywhere scantily clad women peddle the best product that will

achieve drunkenness in the hopes of leading to casual sex. ‘Sex, drugs, and Rock ’N Roll’ has

become the mantra of an entire generation, yet people still hold in esteem the values of living a

virtuous and wholesome life. Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965) explores this contradiction

between thought and action through the protagonist’s psychological state and mental breakdown.

Polanski argues that the human ideal of wholesomeness and purity cannot survive in a male-

dominated civilization ruled by sex.

Repulsion acts as a textbook example of art cinema, particularly in the implementation of

realism principles. The protagonist, Carol Ledoux (Catherine Deneuve), walks about the streets

of London, England in a few scenes in the film. The shots are on location, with real sections of

London and its multitude of motor vehicles and tightly packed streets abundant throughout. The

mise-en-scene of Carol’s apartment is also true to the principles of realism. The apartment is

cluttered; random knickknacks strewn about the dwelling and a sofa tactlessly placed in the

middle of the living room. The apartment also has a slightly grungy and worn-down look to it,

true of older apartment buildings in the aging city. Sex is also approached with bluntness

consistent with art cinema. These type of films “depend upon an eroticism that violates the

production code” and morality of mainstream Hollywood (Bordwell 96). In the case of

Repulsion, Carol’s mental breakdown is hinged upon the constant sexual advances of males in

her life as well as the more surrealistic nightmares of rape the film portrays. In one scene, the

shot simply focuses on a close-up of...

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