Wednesday, March 26

Autism and Filmmaking

David Mamet wrote a book about the film industry called "Bambi versus Godzilla".

Mamet [associates] “ignorance of or indifference to social norms” and “high intelligence” with a form of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome that, he writes, ... “sounds to me like a job description for a movie director.”

Individuals with autism and talented movie directors alike also frequently exhibit tremendous acuity in "visual thinking". Author Temple Grandin, who has autism, wrote a book called "Thinking in Pictures." Oh. So did movie director John Sayles. heh.

The first two youtubes are homemade videos/visual experiments, by individuals diagnosed with some variation of autism. The third one, well, diagnosis or not? Give me a break.

Found on youtube and I'm very impressed.


Yep, this filmmaker is just getting started, but there's all the signs of high visual and interest in making movies.


So I really wish I could sit down for half an hour with this guy's MOM:

Actually, I think David Lynch would be just a bit impressed with what the first two directors did with zero budget.

And the language used, the disjointed thoughts? Knowing her and arms that bend back and pretty songs from birds? I watched this three times and thought, hey, with just a little bit of floortime and ABA therapy, Lynch's dream creatures could be, well, one of us.


  1. Then, of course, there's the original Bambi vs. Gozilla, which can be seen in all its glory here:

  2. David Lynch:

    Hollywood's best-paid scam artist.

    I want compensation for all those wasted hours of "Twin Peaks" that I watched...

  3. Actually quakerdave I think Lynch's abandonment of both his narrative and his audience once Twin Peaks caught on with normal folk is the nail in the coffin of his autism diagnosis. He just didn't get it that it mattered that we the audience had a clear idea who killed Laura Palmer. I was ticked, too.

  4. Are you familiar with Amanda Baggs' film In My Language?

    If you haven't seen it, it's really fascinating. The first half is her communicating her normal way, and in the second she attempts to explain what she does, how it's judged, and how she sees those who judge her.

  5. I read Mamet's book and I wish he had spent more time talking about the issue of people with asperger's and anasazi jews creating the film industry. I felt like he brought up a great argument but didn't provide enough of an analysis of how this affected the industry. Of course, I really enjoyed reading Bambi and Godzilla.

  6. the head of my poetry group,a well known poet also the editor of the website and magazine, head of the creative writing dept at liverpool u. in great britian and a singer songwriter who made me the co-list adm. for the workshop(god alone knows why) has aspergers. he's a brilliant man but sort of short with people. small things, niceties, that he admits
    he just doesn't quite get.
    he is a really motivated person.

  7. oh, his name is dr. jim bennett

  8. Steven Spielberg was once reportedly diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, though reports differ.


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