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Shane MeadowsCritical Essays$
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Martin Fradley, Sarah Godfrey, and Melanie Williams

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676392

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676392.001.0001

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‘Al fresco? That's up yer anus, innit?’ Shane Meadows and the Politics of Abjection

‘Al fresco? That's up yer anus, innit?’ Shane Meadows and the Politics of Abjection

(p.50) Chapter 4 ‘Al fresco? That's up yer anus, innit?’ Shane Meadows and the Politics of Abjection
Shane Meadows

Martin Fradley

Edinburgh University Press

Shane Meadows' films are preoccupied with bodily functions, scatological humour and themes of social abjection. Rather than dismiss these bawdy comical interludes as deviations from the director's more ostensibly serious themes, the consistently grotesque terrain of Meadows' worldview is best understood in political terms as a form of resistance to neoliberal ideology. Meadows's films consistently valorise mutuality and working-class commonality through recourse to corporeal terrain: the political is thus significantly embodied in Meadows' oeuvre. In rejecting the self-regulating fictions of neoliberal individualism, Meadows' grotesque themes function as a form of oppositional ‘dirty protest’ against the hegemonic interpellations of middle-class social normalcy. This is exemplified by the bodily excesses of Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) in Somers Town (2008), a character who typically embodies a distinctly Meadowsian form of ‘excremental heroism’ which systematically rejects the atomised individualism of neoliberal culture.

Keywords:   Shane Meadows, Abjection, The grotesque, Class, Neoliberalism, Somers Town

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