It was in 1965 that Roman Polanski would cast Catherine Deneuve in
Repulsion, described by one critic as a 'one-woman show',
in a role that would effectively create a persona which would resonate
throughout her future film career. The British-made Repulsion was
Polanski's first English-language film and his second feature. This
chapter contends that Repulsion can be read against the grain to
offer a surprisingly sympathetic account of what happens to a young woman of
the sexual revolution generation who rejects the imperative of heterosexual
activity. It assesses and critiques the reception of Polanski's film
Repulsion with regard to its portrayal of female subjectivity,
arguing that Deneuve's presence in the film works to disrupt rather
than to confirm straightforward stereotypes and codes of femininity. The
chapter discusses the significance of this film for the development of
Catherine Deneuve's screen persona.
As moving pictures became a reality during 1895-6, Europe's crowned heads discovered the new medium and what it could do for their image. The earliest royal films made in Britain showed Victoria's extended family with a new informality, and were eagerly viewed by their subjects. However, it was the staging of Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee as a vast procession through London, filmed by 18 companies whose products were distributed throughout Britain and the distant territories of the Empire, that showed how powerfully film could project the monarchy in a new way - immediate, accessible and impressive. Victoria's successors, her sons Edward and George, came to the throne having grasped the potential of film. Meanwhile, two of her relations Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas, were also the subjects of early filming Nicholas's coronation in 1896 was the first such event to be recorded on film, but a record of the disaster that followed, when thousands were killed in a crowd panic, was quickly suppressed. Nicholas would remain suspicious of film as a mass medium, while enjoying it as a private family record, until he gave permission for a film to celebrate the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty in 1913 - the same year that a full-scale acted tribute to Victoria, Sixty Years a Queen, appeared.