Autism Through Cinema

Good Time (2017) dir. The Safdie Brothers, & Music (2021) dir. Sia

May 14, 2021

Can non-autistic actors play autistic characters motivates this discussion which takes as its focus the Safdie brothers’ film Good Time, and references Sia’s Music along the way. The problematic performance of a learning disability in Music is considered in its reductive and child-like presentation. We discuss whether Nick in Good Time, a character with a learning disability played by Ben Safdie, can offer something more positive as a vehicle for exploring autistic meltdowns and masking. Or is he, like many autistic characters, a narrative prosthesis, grafted on to a plot essentially about the drama of crime. Does institutional care offer support away from his brother’s exploitation, or confinement and a restricted life. Anxiety generated through the pace and soundtrack including tracks by Oneohtrix Point Never, and the Iggy Pop song The Pure and the Damned.

Discussants: Alex, David, Georgia, Janet, John-James.

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