Autism Through Cinema

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

May 7, 2021

Adam Sandler’s intensity as a character and actor garners much love in this discussion of autism, comedy and romance. The relationship of the neurodivergent character with his neurotypical siblings is discussed in terms of its pain and discomfort, and the character’s romantic relationship as an antidote to this. The character’s chaos meets a certain otherness in Emily Watson’s character, perhaps her Englishness featuring as Other. The discussion debates whether the film sets and colour palette, and the spatial arrangement of the scenes, foreground an autistic sensibility.  Equally significant in this discussion is the eclectic soundtrack including Shitmat.


Discussants: Alex, David, Georgia.

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