Autism Through Cinema

The Gleaners and I (2000) dir. Agnes Varda

June 25, 2021

Varda’s film explores the history and contemporary practices of gleaning (picking up leftovers after the act of harvesting), putting digression at the centre of its approach. Following wherever intuition and coincidence lead, the film becomes a non-linear accumulation of stories and objects. The discussion considers whether Varda is a trickster figure in her style of striking up ‘stranger familiarity’, and whether it is a film of peripheral outsiders or a display of how different people are everywhere. A particular resonance with autism is its celebration of monotropism and special interests, which leads to a debate of whether filmmaking in itself can be seen as a type of autistic hyper-focus.

Discussants: Alex Widdowson, David Hartley, Georgia Kumari Bradburn, Janet Harbord, John-James Laidlow, & Vicky Thonton.

Email us your reactions to cinemautism@gmail.com

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