Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Temple Grandin BBC Documentary

Lately many people have been commenting on the HBO Temple Grandin movie that was just released. I watched the movie this last week with my family. Overall, I would say that it was pretty good. I don't expect Hollywood to get many things right, but I'd say they did a pretty fair job with this treatment. Claire Danes did a much better job than I expected. I feared before seeing it that she was much too "glamorous" for the role, but she did a good job of capturing the general tone, and playing things pretty straight.

Here's the trailer from the HBO movie:

Buddy Boy told me several years ago that his mind was like "a video camera. I can just hit rewind, and see things over again." He had never heard of Temple Grandin at the time. After seeing the movie, he asked if I thought Temple could teach him to think in pictures. The HBO movie presented it as Temple thinking in black and white still pictures. I guess he saw this as fundamentally different from his thinking like there's a video recorder running in his head. I told him she probably couldn't teach him to think in pictures, as everyone pretty much thought the way they thought.

For those who have access to HBO in the states, I think it's definitely worth a watch if you have time. For those without HBO access, I'm sure it will be out on DVD soon.

Also, on a local list I'm on, someone sent me the links to a nice BBC documentary on Dr. Grandin on YouTube. You can see it here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:


Kent Adams said...

Buddy Boy may think in video because video exists today, it can be rewinded, and viewed over and over again. In Temple's time, like mine, there was no such thing as video. The only thing that could be was a picture captured, a moment in time. There was no VCR, no Youtube, no DVD. Often, what you saw you only saw once and the mind captured what it was given because there would be no other chance. Pictures in Temple's time were not color but B&W so it would make sense that she captured pictures in B&W. I capture pictures today in my mind in 1970's chroma color because that is what was imprinted in my brain to do so when I began to "think".

I suspect that if Buddy Boy had grown up before the rewind button, he too would think in pictures :-)

Club 166 said...

You do realize, Kent, that the Kodachrome we both grew up with is dead, right?


Kent Adams said...

These Kodachrome Videos shot in the 1950's will blow you away. I promise.

Club 166 said...

Wow! Absolutely beautiful. And recently transferred frame by frame to 1080p video, and color corrected professionally.

A true treasure. I just shared the links with a video board I'm on.



The author said...

Why oh why does the media seem to think that Temple Grandin is the only autistic adult on the planet capable of articulating an opinion on anything, hence we get a somewhat monoglot view of autism.

It is as if the Prince of Wales' opinions and observations were taken for those of all "true born Englishmen"

Temple Grandin is at times a wildly inaccurate and very opinionated rapporteur.

Club 166 said...

C'mon, Larry, you know how the world works. You get famous, everyone hangs on your every word, you're the "go to" person for whatever pigeon hole they've put you in. Your 15 minutes is up, they move on to someone else.

While Dr. Grandin certainly doesn't represent every autistic, to her great credit I've heard her time and again state that very thing. I don't think we can blame her for the fact that the media gravitates to her.

And while I wish there was more diversity in what the media portrayed as "autism", I'd much rather have her out there than a lot of other people in the "autistic community".


The author said...

It's ironic that in many ways, in terms of "cognitive style" and even in terms of life experiences, Temple's expression of autism does match my own somewhat, but after that it is all different because our outlooks and manner could not be more completely different.

The NAS had clearly selected her as a crowd pulling key note speaker at the conference where we met a couple of years ago and were not beyond taking the opportunity to stick the two of us up before a camera for there own publicity. I don't agree that Temple Grandin is not media savvy, she clearly is, but seems to use that for different ends than I would.

Different upbringings and life circumstances can bring vastly different outcomes regardless of any cognitive similarities, that's what people often miss out.

Kent Adams said...

One of the reasons I really like Temple is that I think she is genuine, she is the real deal when so much out there isn't. You should read some of what her mother has said about her early childhood. Temple wasn't born with AS but AD.

I can't find the video, but maybe someone else can but her mother Eustasia describes how Temple smeared feces on the wall, was hyperactive, had little speech etc and she didn't say it in a way that made one think "oh look where she is today" but she said it the way any parent that was genuinely frustrated with their child might say it .

Emily said...

Joe, thanks for posting those links to the interview series.

r.b. said...

Thank you for the links to you-tube, I watched all 5 parts, and at the end of the fifth or last part, her words were "Let them come to you." It's interesting, but my son gave the same advice to a teacher asking about kids with autism on his blog..."Let them come to you." Perhaps autistics are skittish but curious creatures, too.

Casdok said...

Yes thank you for the links - will watch them now!!