Autism Through Cinema

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) dir. Wes Anderson

July 22, 2022

Jiminy Cricket! It's a Wes Anderson episode! 

David, Lillian and Ethan get all warm and cosy with the pastel-colours and eccentric characters of Anderson's celebrated 7th feature film Moonrise Kingdom. The film crackles with a neurodivergent energy, from the neat tableaus of the cinematography to the gently rebellious characters of Sam and Suzy. We discuss how Anderson's use of a childlike gaze creates a visual style that emphasises formal qualities and static images, with a clear attention to comedic background details. We find useful analysis from Jacob Siegel's essay 'Wes Anderson and the Aesthetics of Autism', particularly the idea that having 'a fierce loyalty to one's passions' is 'it's own victory' as evoked by many of Anderson's tragic and comedic characters. Find the full essay here: 

There's also enthusiasm for Anderson's use of Benjamin Britten's music in Moonrise Kingdom, his careful approach to sexuality, and the performances of Tilda Swinton (who has appeared previously in our Orlando episode).

As ever, we'd love to hear from our listeners. Do you have a favourite Anderson film? Do you find an autistic presence in his movies? If you have comments, let us know via and we'll find some time to read them out in a future recording.


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