Haunting Lost Futures: The Crises of Space and Time under Neoliberalism in Support The Girls


Andrew Bujalski’s film, Support the Girls, offers insight into the frayed social bonds shaped by neoliberalist ethos over the last forty years. These frayed bonds are indicative of the spatial-temporal suspension that have come to shape our lives under neoliberalism.

Trapped in the precarious yet perpetual present, haunted by the stabilizing dreams of the past, we concurrently mourn for our lost futures. Despite feeling anchored within our ostensibly immovable present, we nonetheless remain affectively bound to the belief that, perhaps, things will change this time as we continue engaging with the very objects and systems perpetuating our malaise, alienation, and precarity. In this article, I argue that Support the Girls represents the temporal and spatial disjuncture characterizing post-modernism and the age of neoliberalism. Support the Girls reflects the impasse marred by affective relations of cruel optimism as conceptualized by theorist Lauren Berlant that marks our temporal present, while the characters continue occupying the non-places defining Mark Fisher’s notion of hauntology and the slow cancellation of the future. As illustrated in Support the Girls, this temporal and spatial dispossession defining late capitalism has stripped Lisa (played by Regina Hall), the general manager of a local Hootersesque restaurant and sports bar called Double Whammies, and the cabal of young women she manages, of any material relations of collective solidarity, replacing these collective bonds with empathy as a form of conflict resolution.

Author Biography

Victoria Fleming, York University

Victoria Fleming is a PhD student in York University & Toronto Metropolitan University’s joint program in Communication and Culture. Her research interests include media histories, political economy and labour, aesthetics, cinema, and media studies, as well as surveillance studies. She has recently been published in Persona Studies 2023 issue on Domesticity and Persona.