05 01 2013

Repulsion posters on { feuilleton }








From John Coultharts great blog {feuilleton}

More Roman Polanski. The BFI is running a season of the director’s work through January and February so Repulsion (1965) and Chinatown (1974) have been put back into circulation nationwide. I don’t live in London but I have a large number of Polanski’s films on DVD so it looks like this month will also see a mini-season in south Manchester. Anchor Bay released a set of Polanski’s first three films (plus a disc of his short works) a few years ago, a great collection whose only flaw was a lack of Jan Lenica’s poster art for Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac (1966). I don’t know what posters are being used to promote the new release of Repulsion but something using Lenica’s artwork would seem essential.

The colour and brush style of the prone figure is very typical of Lenica but when combined with either the Clarendon typeface in the British example above, or the blocky lettering for the French poster, a Saul Bass-like design appears. The gender and eye symbols in the hand-drawn lettering reinforce a resemblance which I’d guess was deliberate. The title sequence for Repulsion, with the credits sliding across a close view of Catherine Deneuve’s eyeball, could almost have been created by Bass; the director’s credit (below) requires no further argument.

A variant that reworks the Lenica design and Bass-like title to poor effect, this dances along the edge of exploitation as re-release posters often do.

Jan Lenica produced another design for a German release. “Ekel” means “disgust” but the painting is giving the wrong message when it’s the character of Carol experiencing disgust at all the men in her life.

A pair of Japanese posters with the one above being the most subtle of this small collection. Surprising to see English words being used, and in an equally surprising typeface.

There’s more Jan Lenica poster art here and here. Over at The Quietus Basia Lewandowska Cummings takes another look at Repulsion. Peter Bradshaw‘s review of the reissued film calls it “deeply disturbing” and “horribly convincing”. I agree. If you’ve not yet seen Polanski’s first exploration of deep paranoia then you’re missing out.


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