|Temple Grandin: the movie
||[Feb. 4th, 2010|11:27 pm]
See this movie. If you have to beg a friend who has cable to watch it so you can too...it will be on HBO...do so. It's worth it. It's worth it for anyone...but for everyone who knows an autistic person or is on the spectrum or is curious about autism...See. This. Movie.
I saw it at a special invitational screening tonight...and had not known ahead of time that much of it was filmed here in central Texas...that Capitol Land & Cattle Co., which I've driven by dozens of times, became an Arizona stockyard for the duration, that Southwestern University in Georgetown became a college in New Hampshire, etc. That was an extra fillip of delight for those of us in the area, but...the story itself is incredible (as anyone knows who's read Temple Grandin's own books) and the movie, being a visual medium, was able to show her "thinking in pictures" in...well....pictures. Temple Grandin herself was there (she's been traveling to the special showings around the country) so we got her thoughts on the movie as well.
Her drawings in the movie...are her drawings. From her own notebooks and files, that she (she told us) went to Kinko's and copied so they could be used.
See this movie. Find a way.
I haven't seen the film, but there was a documentary about her on the BBC some years ago now; she was explaining about how she was able to see things from a cow's point of view that neuro-typical people missed, so she could point out what was spooking them going into the slaughterhouse, for instance. A brilliant woman!
The movie isn't out yet--this was a pre-release screening--they've done a number, around the country. The movie comes out on HBO tomorrow.
I'd seen documentaries on her, and read her books, but this...this is even more. For one thing, they took her original drawings, and using modern computer-aided techniques were able to animate them to show how she sees them in her mind--the melding of her original drawings with the movement thing is...amazing and valuable. The only way to communicate to an audience that can't do what she does, is visually...I'd read what she'd written, but some of it didn't come clear until I *saw* it. And it took an actor of great ability to show her at the different ages and stages of development--Claire Danes simple *was* Temple Grandin.
I hope it comes over here, either to the cinema or on television; I should very much like to see it.
Is that the actual name of the movie? I'd like to put it on my Netflix queue for when it comes out on DVD.
Yup, that's the actual name: Temple Grandin.
2010-02-06 03:12 pm (UTC)
It ought to be shown over and over and over again, IMO.
It makes clear how scary autism was (and still can be) to people who don't understand. Many autistic children (not all) develop a jerky, uneven way of moving...even now, when M- ice skates, he does not look as fluid as other skaters who've been doing it as many years. "Stimming" movements like arm flailing, hand-flapping, etc. are annoying to slightly scary to many people. The facial expressions aren't what people expect--since the children can't read others' expressions (and in fact often can't see the brief expressions that we use to communicate face to face--they don't last long enough) they don't mimic them the way NT children do. Grandin was accused of being angry when she was thinking (same thing happened to me with my mother, who accused me of "sulling up" when I was merely thinking hard.) Because sensory overloads stress them (invisibly, as others see nothing to get upset about) they may explode "for no reason." There is a reason--behavior always has reasons--but people don't know the reasons.
This movie enhances the sensory input at those explosive times--audio and visual anyway--so that the person with normal sensory input can experience just a bit of what it's like to have all the sounds turned up while voices blur, to have all reflected light stabbing you in the eye, etc. And it shows people being afraid of, and contemptuous of, Grandin...and of her struggle to fit in enough to escape the constant disapproval, fear, disdain, and active attacks. It makes clear how exhausting it is for parents, without making her mother into a martyr, and how valuable another family member or friend or really good teacher can be, because they haven't had the 24/7/365 work from birth to then.
I've already seen it, and promptly called my friend who has a high-functioning autistic daughter to tell her to see it. I'm also telling my sister-in-law; my niece is also high-functioning autistic. I agree, I thought they did a wonderful job with the movie.
It's odd, after I read _The Speed of Dark_, suddenly I started knowing people with autistic children or those with Asperger's syndrome. Life does interesting things sometimes. And I am even more grateful for my two healthy, intelligent, happy daughters - they may drive me around the bend on a regular basis, but seeing what other parents go through with disabled children, I take a deep breath, and gratefully cope with whatever is going on.