Monday, January 22, 2007

"Today's Man" on April 8

As part of its "Margaret Mead Festival," the Rice Media Center will show the documentary "Today's Man" on Sunday, April 8 (yes, Easter Sunday) at 9:00 pm.

Description from the Rice Media Center website:

"Filmmaker Lizzie Gottlieb looks at her brother Nicky, a young man struggling to leave the comfort and safety of his parents' home and find his place in the world. While he can calculate the square root of any number in the blink of an eye, he has trouble reading the simplest of facial expressions, making social interaction difficult. At the age of 21, he is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism."

The film is the second half of a double feature, but the first movie, "A Map With Gaps," is only 26 minutes long, and "Today's Man" is 55 minutes, so even the 9:00 start time won't make for too late a night.


Debrah Hall said...

This is a terrific find, thanks Miranda.

John said...

From Dr. Neal Sarahan:

Miranda - I haven't seen the movie. It reminds me of Rain man, and also of a recent book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

One problem for people with autism who have lots of cognitive capacity is that their energy gets focused on idiosyncratic mental processes. Without the benefit of the "connection" to the social world of shared knowledge, the person stills has lots of dedicated cognitive capacity - typically stored in strong, very strong memory functions. And because there is lots of energy, and mental power, their growth and connections can be quite profound, but also most times totally sadly useless.

I believe that because so much more effort is being made to connect with autists in early stages of their development will have the effect of decreasing the number of “idiot savants” and hopefully turn everyone’s mental energy more toward effective coordination in the real world.

However, with respect to art, piano playing, phenomenal visual and auditory recall, as well as hyper-lexia, we have some hard clues from savants about the power of focused energy.

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