By Frances Pheasant-Kelly
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Extra info for Abject Spaces in American Cinema: Institutional Settings, Identity and Psychoanalysis in Film
Within the institution of the training camp, Boone overcomes such opposition by reordering boundaries, in part through instituting physical control over the team on the football field. He also erodes socio-cultural difference using language. Through confronting abjection, both at the training camp and at Gettysburg, the team overcomes and accepts difference. Its members thus develop from a pre-Oedipal state by identifying with the symbolic father, Boone. Boone is consistent with the language of the symbolic, signified through text and speech.
Bodily regulation therefore concerns not only suppressing links with function, but also with food intake and exercise. Gail Weiss12 links these two aspects via her discussion of anorexia, which, in the female, controls body image and simultaneously negates menstruation. It is with the regulation of the ‘lower body stratum’ that Carrie is concerned, while Full Metal Jacket and Remember the Titans explore the articulation and mastery of the physical body in space. In this part, therefore, I examine three different types of training institution – that concerned with education and the social control of the body; sport and the physical development and control of the body; and the precise ordering typical of the military institution.
They spray graffiti over the gym that reads, ‘Carrie White eats shit’, leading Miss Collins, the gym mistress, to admonish them with the words, ‘you did a really shitty thing, a really shitty thing’. Excrement and menstruation, as discussed earlier in this book, relate to the maternal mapping of the body and are thus relevant to Creed’s argument of Carrie as abject. However, other characters are also associated with excrement. Chris addresses Billy Nolan repeatedly as a ‘stupid shit’ and ‘dumb shit’.
Abject Spaces in American Cinema: Institutional Settings, Identity and Psychoanalysis in Film by Frances Pheasant-Kelly