Autism Movie Snow Cake
The movie Snow Cake is a different kind of Autism movie these days and I have not seen it mentioned in traditional Rain Man Autism Circles . The following post is copied from our Yahoo Autism group. It was sent to our German Friend Hajo another very high functioing Autism spectrum Guy that pretty much does a normal life, like the rest of us do. Hajo was able to get his Autism Group into a German Autism Convention (someone was on Vacation and they had a slip up) a little while back and the people were SHOCKED at how "normal" and well they presented. Traditional Autism powers even in Germany at first refused entry to his group of Higher functioing people. In the end however the right impression was made. Again thankfully the key person was on vacation and they "slipped in" the convention to the delight of everyone.
At the end of this post, Hajo's own comments on this movie are presented.
From Our Autism Group Message board,,,
Hajo,I'm sending along an interview with Sigourney Weaver that was part of a mailingfrom the moderator of a the NYC chapter of GRASP a group of adult autistics.Others may find it interesting. The NYC chapter was one of the groups she visited in preparation for her role. Sounds like she's done a good job ofunderstanding and portraying "real" not stereotypical autistics.I'll look for Snow Cake when it gets to NY.Hope things are good with you. Always nice to hear your voice on ac-glbt.Barbara\Sunday Herald [Scotland]
- 06 August 2006Down to EarthMarianne Gray talks to Sigourney Weaver ahead of her visit to the Edinburgh FilmFestivalFOR years in Hollywood, autism has only meant one thing: Dustin Hoffmanin Rain Man. That Oscar-winning performance in 1988 brought thecondition to a mass audience but, though undoubtedly well-intentioned,Hoffman's obsessive toothpick-counting character has become culturalshorthand for a very complicated condition.In her new film Snow Cake, Sigourney Weaver plays a very different kindof autistic. Her character, Linda, keeps a very clean house but also hasan unorthodox approach to Scrabble, bounces around on a backyardtrampoline and - in the quirk that gives the film its title - enjoyseating snow in her Ontario back garden. Her relatively carefreeexistence is disturbed by the arrival of an English ex-convict (AlanRickman), bearing news that her daughter has been killed in a caraccident, which marks the start of a very unusual relationship.For 57-year-old Weaver, it's just the latest in a long line ofintriguing roles, from the statuesque Dana Barrett in the Ghostbusters series to haunted Alice Hunt in The Village. She's repeatedlydemonstrated her mastery of both comedy (Working Girl, Galaxy Quest) and drama (The Year Of Living Dangerously, Death And The Maiden), and hascemented her place in Hollywood history with her defiant, iconicportrayal of Lt Ellen Ripley in the Alien series.As well as travelling with Snow Cake at the Edinburgh International FilmFestival, Weaver will be in conversation with EIFF director ShaneDanielsen as part of the Sunday Herald-sponsored Reel Life strand, aunique chance to hear the actress herself reflect on her past, presentand future. But before that, she reveals how she approached one of hermost challenging roles yet.How did you prepare to play a high-functioning autistic?It took me a long time even to understand how to prepare for this partbecause every person with autism is unique and to find someone likeLinda took me a long time. It was one of the most fascinating years Ihave ever spent researching a role. I learned so much and met so manywonderful people, and it was very satisfying to get to use that researchin the part. I had a lot of help, and I am grateful to everyone whotried to help me do this accurately.How did you get the part?I found it through the director, Marc Evans, and my agent. The scripthad this fine balance of comedy and romance yet managed to throw somereal light on the subject of autism.Is the script what drew you to Snow Cake in the first place?The script was so lovely and redemptive and had real human beings in it.The writer, Angela Pell, has an autistic son which gave her the roots ofthe whole film. So all my experiences, bouncing on the trampoline andeating snow - that is all down to her son. She wanted to write a filmthat showed that sometimes autistic people can be a pain but most of thetime it's very good fun and enlightening. I wanted to do the film assoon as I read the script. The film was not just about autism, it wasabout a very special woman who also happened to have autism.Has the way you go "looking for work" changed over the years?I think it's hard for actors to find projects as wonderful as Snow Cake.The experience of working together in such a tight ensemble, such anintimate experience is something I enjoyed very much but with acting youhave to set sail and go and see what comes. I can only speak for myself.You cannot have extraordinarily high standards. You have to follow yourgut and look for something that moves you, and that you would want tosee and is a story that you would want to tell.What did you discover studying autism?I think the world concentrates on seeing people in terms of assets anddeficits and people think of autism as a definite deficit for those thathave it. Having worked and been with people on the autism spectrum formany months I think we have to begin to see it as a gift - we may notunderstand what is there, but if you are in the presence of someone withautism for a long time, you learn so much. You learn how to play, youlearn how to see things differently, you learn how to experience things,and you also learn how jarring the world is. I re-experienced learninghow to enjoy really simple things. I loved the time I got to spend withautistic people and I consider them as friends.Are you any closer to working out what is "typical" when it comes to autism?I guess yes and no. What I perceived is that there are problems that areshared by a lot of people on the spectrum. They have those in common.But as for every person I have met they are completely unique. Iwouldn't want to be in the business of generalising about thisparticular condition.You have said that you normally find acting very difficult .It can be if actors aren't there for each other. In this film, Alan[Rickman] respected what I was trying to do and we always tried to bethere for each other. The scenes were complex and go all over the place,but it was an amazing ensemble experience to have that trust. I feltthat we were like trapeze artists and every time I was in the air hecaught me.What are the main differences between the work you're doing now and theroles you were being offered 20 years ago?You presume a lot of control over where your career goes. I think thatis an illusion. You are offered certain things when you are younger.Actually, I always felt happy not to get too many girlfriend roles, butI would have liked to do more love stories. But you deal with the handyou are dealt.Do you still want to play strong women?I have enjoyed life after Alien because I have gotten to do so manydifferent things and I have been so fortunate with the choices I've beenable to make but I do not try to play weak women. I have not changed theway I approach my work. It just happens to be that now I am doing lessarchetypal characters.Why do you think you're typecast in strong parts?I don't know! I'm always amazed by the way such parts come to me. Arethe women I play always strong-willed and strong-minded? Yes, but Ithink we women are strong and, you know, we hold the world together.Copyright © 2006 smg sunday newspapers ltd. no.176088 -----
Original Message ----- From: Hajo
Yesterday I was a bit surprised by watching a preview of a Canadian movie called "snow cake". The movie deals about a British guy who happens to meet an autistic woman in northern Ontario (in a place called "Wawa"). It is planned to be shown in German cinemas in november. We, a German selfsupporting organisation, were invited to watch this preview and tell the marketing agency what we think about it. They told us they were interested in learning about autistics' opinions about the way autism is shown in this movie. The paper about it said that the author of the story herself has an autistic son. She was cited with the words "Maybe autism might be hell some time but most of the time autism is like living in heaven". The autistic woman in the movie is shown as a woman who manages her live completely by her own and using her autistic skills to organize her live in a perfect way. She is played by Sigourney Weaver who is doing it very well. The paper about the movie said that she was working hard in dealing with autism and meeting autistics for a whole year before starting to play her role in the movie. I was really surprised about this movie which shows autism in a quite realistic and as well positive way - just as another way of living. In this regard it's really different to all rainman like movies.