By Frances Pheasant-Kelly
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Extra info for Abject Spaces in American Cinema: Institutional Settings, Identity and Psychoanalysis in Film
In the earlier part of the film the clear divisions of space are expressed socially, culturally and cinematographically. Eventually, under Boone’s direction and discipline, the team learns to overcome racial difference and accept each other. The integration of ethnic groups through sport leads not only to harmonious friendships but also to positive and inspirational experiences. In Remember the Titans this extends to improved community relations and, in the final frames, to the representation 47 ABJECT SPACES IN AMERICAN CINEMA of black and white Americans as one family.
The other students recoil in disgust and then symbolically stone Carrie with sanitary products, shouting, ‘plug it up, plug it up’, while Carrie, appearing unaware of the process of menstruation, cries hysterically. Creed notes the stoning metaphor,24 which supports her view of Carrie as a monstrous witch. Furthermore, Carrie’s supernatural capability, signalled by the shattering of a light overhead, parallels the onset of her menstruation. The shattering of the light transforms the dream-like quality of the locker room into a harsh reality, with its disorderliness exacerbated by Carrie’s telekinetic display.
Any aberration of the physical or social body is seen as deviant and other. While spaces of order are associated with the school, and often men (the classroom and the headmaster’s office), spaces of disorder relate to femininity (the prom, the shower scene and the Whites’ house), best exemplified by the locker room scene. Here, slow motion cinematography and a highly unstructured mise-en-scène signify disorderliness. Towels and clothing appear to float randomly through the air and bodies are etherealized and nymph like.