Roman Polanski's Repulsion has been rightly hailed as a chilling examination of a woman going mad. With unnerving intensity, it places us in the shoes of Catherine Deneuve's fragile beautician, whose unexplained trauma and sexual repression induce bizarre, frightening hallucinations that ultimately drive her to murder. But just as powerful is its notion of an outside world incapable of aiding her. Polanski's penchant for exploring helplessness and indifference has seen more overt expression in other films, but here it forms a haunting counterpoint to the central drama, a statement both on insanity and the banal monstrosities which enable it.
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If the passenger became a driver, could he or she handle all the metaphorical responsibilities that go with it? That question is central to Michelangelo Antonioni's re-released The Passenger (1975) and the answer provides a sobering glimpse into the souls of the contenders who foolishly wish for that second chance, that empty stretch of road, and don't have any idea where to start.
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Luc Besson has loved the Valerian story for many, many years.