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Our 'Autism & Cinema' Barbican Film Season is Here!

Today officially marks the opening of our Autism and Cinema film season at the Barbican in London. We'll be kicking things off with a screening of Temple Grandin this evening, followed by Le Moindre geste on Saturday 18th, and a full programme of feature films and short films across the next two weeks. There are still tickets available for many of our events, and you can get the full lowdown over on the Barbican website.

The season aims to challenge our ideas and perceptions of the representation of autism on screen. In his recent article for The Guardian, Simon Hattenstone explores what he calls the 'problem of autism in movies' with some help and insight from his autistic daughter Maya. After reflecting on the early domination of Rain Man through to the recent controversy around the musician Sia's film Music, Simon and Maya express a desire to see the realities of autism; 'the confusion, the anxiety, the self-consciousness, and the attempt to decode the distorted noise of the outside world.' They find that many of these subtleties are present in some of our innovative short films including 'Illuminating the Wilderness' by Kate Adams and Tim Corrigan, 'The Mask' by Sharif Persaud, and 'A is for Autism' by Tim Webb.

As we've been demonstrating through our podcast, the relationship of autism with film is a lot more complex and wide-ranging than the classic and well-known examples. Autistic people have long been fans of the cinema and have found autistic presence where others perhaps didn't see it, or expect to see it. Our podcasters John-James Laidlow, David Hartley, Georgia Bradburn and Ethan Lyon explore this in more detail in a special guest episode of the Barbican podcast Nothing Concrete, which you can listen to here.

We're delighted that our season of films is already sparking such fascinating and ground-breaking discussions. No doubt there will be plenty more to come at our various ScreenTalks and introductions as the season continues throughout this month. In the meantime, catch up with the Autism Through Cinema podcast. Our most recent episode considers the HBO drama and season opener Temple Grandin by Mick Jackson, and our next episode, releasing tomorrow, covers our closing season film, Keep the Change by Rachael Israel. Available on all good podcasting platforms!

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