Abject Spaces in American Cinema. Institutional Settings, by Frances Pheasant-Kelly

By Frances Pheasant-Kelly

American cinema abounds with movies set in prisons, asylums, hospitals and different associations. instead of orderly locations of restoration and rehabilitation, those institutional settings come to be abject areas of keep an eye on and repression within which grownup id is threatened as a story impetus. Exploring the abject via matters as diversified as racism, psychological sickness or the protection of our bodies for organ donation, this e-book analyses a variety of motion pictures together with 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994), 'Full steel Jacket' (1987) and 'Girl, Interrupted' (1999) via to cult movies corresponding to 'Carrie' (1976) and 'Bubba Ho-tep' (2002). through analysing scenes of horror and disgust in the context of abject area, Frances Pheasant-Kelly finds how threats to id show up in scenes of torture, horror and psychosexual repression and are resolved both notwithstanding dying or via tense re-entry into the skin global. This readable and interesting journey of the abject within the establishment film...

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Extra resources for Abject Spaces in American Cinema. Institutional Settings, Identity and Psychoanalysis in Film

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These episodes of transgression specifically involve Carrie’s telekinetic powers and lead her mother (Piper Laurie) to label her as a witch, an aspect that Creed develops in her reading of Carrie as an example of the monstrous-feminine. In many respects, however, this is incongruous, not least since the mother herself has witch-like qualities. Margaret White has long flowing hair, wears dark clothing and her figure behaviour mostly entails sweeping, unnatural movements. We often see her through extreme camera angles, thus heightening her appearance as evil and irrational, while Carrie persistently appears innocent and victimized.

In this book I thus analyse film texts about institutions using Kristeva’s theory of abjection. I explore a range of settings, from total institutions40 such as the prison, to everyday institutions such as the school and family, looking at how they give meaning and order space. The films analysed here include Bubba Ho-tep (2002), Carrie (1976), Coma (1978), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Girl, Interrupted (1999), The Last Castle (2001), Lock Up (1989), Remember the Titans (2000) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Social training films also appeared in the classroom. 10 A particular aspect of such regulation relates to the feminine reproductive body. In some cultures, menstruating women are segregated11 while in Western society there has been a tendency to suppress elements of the feminine reproductive body. Lack of control associated with the body in current culture, particularly in relation to hygiene and weight, is also often perceived as undesirable, whereas the sanitized, weight-controlled body is the ideal.

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