Jane Campion Cinema Appeals for Autistic Cipher
“In the complex, full-formed characters of Jane Campion’s cinema, I found connections with my own recent autism diagnosis,” Lexie Corbett writes in an article published by bi-monthly magazine, Little White Lies.
“I was looking for myself in the cinema, and I was not finding it,” Corbett writes. “I was looking for authentic autistic subjectivity; a serious cinematic representation that treated its subjects like whole people. I call it an autistic cipher, and I found it in the films of Jane Campion.
“Ada (Holly Hunter) in The Piano (1993) and Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in The Power of the Dog (2021) are both powerful autistic ciphers because they are presented as whole human beings, indivisible from the traits that make them appear odd to society. Not only that, but their traits inform their power as people, further demonstrating a holistic characterisation. The cipher is not a diagnostic exercise. It is cinematic archaeology.”
Original article by Lexie Corbett, Little White Lies, September 2, 2022.