Autism and Cinema
An exploration of neurodiversity
This season debates new ideas arising from the relationship between autism and cinema.
Bringing together a diverse selection of films, ranging from documentary to animation, and genre-twisting fiction to experimental filmmaking from within the autistic community, this programme asks how the language of cinema can be challenged and changed by autistic perspectives.
Typically, cinema has depicted characters with autism from the outside, looking in with fascination at a high-functioning or magical character who throws out of joint the ‘neurotypical’ lives of those around them.
A cinema reflective of autism and the experience of neurodiversity is rare. Yet it has much to offer our understanding of inner and outer life, ushering in new sensory and relational ways of being in the world.
All screenings in the series are Relaxed Screenings.
Presented in collaboration with the Centre for Film and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London as part of a research project supported by Wellcome.
Keep the Change + ScreenTalk
Set in New York, this film adopts the traits and expectations of a quirky urban, romantic comedy, but infuses a deep poignancy in its honest engagements with a community rarely depicted in the cinema.
Life, Animated (PG*) + ScreenTalk
Based on the book Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, this documentary examines the place of animation in the evolving mind map of a child.
Jigsaw + Illuminating the Wilderness + Intro + ScreenTalk
Made in 1980, Jigsaw sought to depict a little-known condition. Forty years later, Illuminating the Wilderness speaks to continuing dialogue between artists’ film and neurodivergence.
Mulholland Drive (15) + Introduction
Set in the winding roads and dark recesses of Hollywood, Lynch’s labyrinthine film has attracted much hypothesis.
Le Moindre geste (PG*) + ScreenTalk
First screened in the critics’ week at Cannes Film Festival in 1971, this one-of-its kind docu-drama arises from the work of anti-psychiatry guerrilla Fernand Deligny.
Temple Grandin (PG) + ScreenTalk
Drawn from the subject’s own memoirs, Temple Grandin details the life story of the incredible autistic thinker and advocate who transformed the cattle farming industry.