Imprisoned in Disgust: Roman Polanski's Repulsion

Film-Philosophy 15 (2):36-50 (2011)

Abstract
Noël Carroll has suggested that scary films scare because our emotions are structured by the disgusting and dangerous properties of the films’ monsters. By contrast, this essay argues that some scary films scare through more direct means than can be explained by entertaining in thought, say, the impure properties of Count Dracula. It is the film itself that disgusts and frightens, by ‘taking over’ the spectator so that their consciousness of the film is ‘contaminated’ by the ‘spirit’ of horror. In this essay, I discuss this state of ‘being done by disgust-horror through Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965). In my reading, Repulsion is about ultrasensitivity to the world and the subsequent, insane fear of intimacy that the film itself directly induces in its spectator. The spectator is threatened with possession in a fashion analogous to the way in which Carole’s apartment (her own mind) keeps her captive in her own disgust. This disgust that Carole feels is not merely disgust towards men, but disgust towards the world in general. The effect of this is the devastating, disgusting, schizophrenic terror of being unable to trust one’s own senses
Keywords Polanski, Repulsion, disgust, possessive horror
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/film.2011.0024
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,434
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Disgust: The Body and Soul Emotion in the 21st Century.P. Rozin, J. Haidt & C. R. McCauley - 2009 - In B. O. Olatunji & D. McKay (eds.), Disgust and its disorders. American Psychological Association. pp. 2008.
Horribly Wrong.Stephen S. Bush - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (4):585-600.
Toward a Poetics of Cinematic Disgust.Julian Hanich - 2011 - Film-Philosophy 15 (2):11-35.
Horror.Aaron Smuts - 2008 - In Paisley Livingston & Carl Plantinga (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-24

Total views
41 ( #214,701 of 2,280,328 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #57,818 of 2,280,328 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature