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

By Frances Pheasant-Kelly

American cinema abounds with movies set in prisons, asylums, hospitals and different associations. instead of orderly areas of restoration and rehabilitation, those institutional settings turn out to be abject areas of regulate and repression during which grownup id is threatened as a story impetus. Exploring the abject via matters as different as racism, psychological disease or the protection of our bodies for organ donation, this ebook analyses more than a few movies together with 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994), 'Full steel Jacket' (1987) and 'Girl, Interrupted' (1999) via to cult motion pictures equivalent to 'Carrie' (1976) and 'Bubba Ho-tep' (2002). by means of analysing scenes of horror and disgust in the context of abject house, Frances Pheasant-Kelly finds how threats to id happen in scenes of torture, horror and psychosexual repression and are resolved both although dying or via disturbing re-entry into the skin international. This readable and interesting journey of the abject within the establishment film...

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Additional info for Abject Spaces in American Cinema. Institutional Settings, Identity and Psychoanalysis in Film

Example text

In short, Foucault rejects the Freudian model of repression but still maintains a concern with systems of order as a mode of ‘containing’ the inherently chaotic. Despite acknowledging parallels between Foucault and Freud, in this book I conclude that, while the films discussed here emphasize Foucault’s ideas on power, in fictional institutions disorder rather than order prevails. A useful example of this is the uniform display of apparently healthy bodies at the Jefferson Institute in Coma (1978) (discussed later in this book, see Figure 1).

Her mother therefore not only controls her actions, but also compels her to subscribe to the religious fanaticism she upholds. The use of canted, low angle shots of her in these scenes emphasizes the overpowering force of the maternal body. Vivian Sobchack18 identifies the threat the home presents, especially the parental figure, as a generic pattern characteristic of several horror films of that time. Describing similar depictions of a decentralized family unit in Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Shining (1980), Sobchack attributes this to shifts in American society.

Although racism as a form of abjection is well documented in the literature, there has been, as far as I am aware, no discussion of its manifestation in the institution film to date. Furthermore, this study is also distinct in that it broadens Kristeva’s original concept in arguing that old age and end-of-life trajectories are abject. This dimension has clear parallels with an infantile lack of subjectivity, but it is one that Kristeva fails to address and is also an area that film studies has generally neglected.

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