Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


Leave a comment

Dogora – The Space Monster (1964) Film Review

Dogora The Space Monster Poster 1964OVERVIEW

The movie is excellent and has quirky mix of genres (multi-genre). it has main aspect of being a monster movie but a large amount of this movie is a police/detective plot which is tight, well- directed and flows nicely. What I do like about Toho movies is the sense flow with multiple elements this is a fine example not only of experimental film making (optical effects, “live-action” effects and musical scores) but of movie pace and atmosphere.

DOGORA

The monster in this movie is a bold new direction in terms of not only the nature of monster itself which is a space alien but how the monster is portrayed. It isn’t a person in a suit but a clever use of optical effects, bluescreen and miniatures along with a wonderful score by Akira Ifukube giving Dogora an  ethereal and dreamlike quality. You see the destruction it causes but you very seldomly see the monster itself (less is more). I like the fact that monster is different it relies more on characterisation, exposition from the mains and supporting characters building around the monster rather the monster itself.


Dogora Attacks 1965SPECIAL EFFECTS 

For 1964 the movies special effects are very well made, constructed and photographed – I viewed this movie in HD (standard definition DVD)  Upscaled to full HD the bold colour palette and lush widescreen presentation really did ping out at me the monaural mix of the movie was to a good standard with minimal popping an hiss and had surprising amount of depth.

CONCLUSION

Dogora – The Space Monster is a different type of kaiju movie with a firm detective/ police plot and a different take on what the monster is and how it is portrayed this is a fine example of Toho trying something different within the genre and for me it delivers.

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

Destroy All Monsters (1968) – Movie Review

Destroy All Monsters Poster 1968Godzilla as a franchise is one which is moving all the time in 1968 Destroy All Monsters has eclectic array of kaiju some starred in stand alone movies while others started off in the Godzilla franchise.

OVERVIEW

The plot mixes elements of science fiction, fantasy, mild horror and of course monster action – it has a perfect mix of nostalgia and with the vivid colours, costumes and practical effects you get a sense of hyper- reality with its bold colour palette and bright lighting and colour tone.

The monsters are kept on Monster Island (this movie is set the future) this includes Godzilla, Rodan, Anguirus, Minilla, Kumonga, Mothra (larvae form), Gorosaurus, Manda & Varan. Which are controlled  and monitored by a scientific team underneath Monster Island. The mystery is it is sabotaged and the organisation (United Nations Science Committee) has to find out who and what is controlling the monsters who in term attacking different parts of the planet.

The plot works at steady pace with a decent sense of flow towards the end of the movie the direction is well-paced with sense of togetherness when all the monsters commute to Mt. Fuji for the final confrontation.

THE MONSTERS

Personally this is Toho’s finest hour the monster’s are all well detailed and are seen in all their glory with a fine mix of suit acting and wire work for some of the monsters as well as all their signature roars and sounds it lends to the feeling of “togetherness” and also is a firm reflection of the different direction the moves were going at this point in time.

Destory All Monsters 1968SPECIAL EFFECTS

There is a firm mixture of miniature, optical, bluescreen, split screen etc. I viewed this movie HD which was from the Blu-ray release so it was 1080p Progressive Scan. The detail that is brought through is amazing the colours the detail of the suits and the well constructed miniatures it was a treat to see. The audio was crisp, well balanced and had lots of depth.

CONCLUSION

Destroy All Monsters is a fun, well-paced movies with well balanced mix of genres and a steady plot and some truly stellar special effects work from the Toho team this is the ninth movie in the series and it feels fresh and vibrant much like the use of widescreen, the lighting and crayon like colour pallette at time gives it an animated feel.

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

The Autism World – When Our Hearts & Ears Have To Be Open To All Realities

Things Need To Change?

It’s my opinion that indulgent self-gratification and the selfishness in parts of “autism world” is what I feel will eventually make it implode and full-apart. If it all becomes about “me,me,me”, point scoring, back-stabbing (being two faced), office politics, game playing, “them and us” separation, object using (psychopathy and sociopathy) not listening, stereotype investing and not learning then people like myself (who try to do their best to empower and stay true to themselves) and others on and off the autism spectrum are going to continue to get hurt, told to be silent not believed or to just told “get on with it” no one seems to care about such repercussions on one’s character and mental health. I process things slowly but get there in the end.

If we listened to one another and appreciated other’s realities we would learn SO MUCH more. It is not the act it is the heart of where the act comes from I do things to empower not monopolise or manipulate.

Conclusion

Listening is a very important tool it means not only showing an interest but in the context of this chapter it means taking into account someone’s thoughts and feelings. What journey have you been through? What paths did you take to get there? Every human being is on there own specific journey and is important to acknowledge that.

“Them and “Us” – We Are All Human 

We can all learn from each other if politics and tired old stereotypes which are churned out through oppression in and around the “autism world” then voices will and are most certainly going to be lost. The them and us scenario causes friction ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and NT (“Neurotypical”) or vice versa.

We as human beings are all equal and when neurotypical  becomes a loaded word (spiteful, derogatory, other or sub-human etc) that is not right. I say people who aren’t on the spectrum myself. Inclusion is about everyone getting involved in the context of this chapter it means that both views are valid.

Conclusion 

All views and opinions wherever someone is on the spectrum or not should be taken into account that is because one can learn from the act of sharing each other views, what they mean. How do they differ? What are the similarities and having healthy look at the whats and whys.

Neurotypical? A Word That Doesn’t Make Sense?

What is an NT? There is no such thing in my opinion. We are all human and taking all realities into account is far more positive and inclusive than creating what I call man-made barriers we could from metaphorical perspective “holds hands” in this regards everybody has a story unique to  a view and/or viewpoints that are as equal and as valid as the next persons.

Conclusion

If someone calls someone a name that is meant to make them feel worthless that has knock on effect on their self-esteem and self worth “typical” doesn’t sound very nice and if the situation was reversed I am sure it would feel equally hurtful. When I talk about equalism I am meaning everybody. Setting good examples is a way move forward.

Militancy – When People Take Things Too Far 

That is true when people attack whether they are on the spectrum or not - one must take responsibility for their actions. That is what worries me there should be no single representation of autism even by people who are in a position of being an advocate on the autism spectrum. One can only talk about their profile and how autism affects them – the key is that their so many other different and diverse profiles.

Militancy creates too many barriers and shuts off a lot other people on and off the spectrum who have different ideas, profiles and presentations. Surely hearing different views is good?

Conclusion

If we talked and discussed our views in a manner which is respectful we may learn that we share things and have insights that are common – however one may learn that are viewpoints and ideals come from different areas this isn’t a bad thing but when views get extreme it has a “pebble in a pound” effect it causes problems for other whose view may be lost in the mix of extremism.

Autism Politics – The Two Extremes

You have people who are are curists and people who are culturists both demographics go to the extreme to get their points of view across to others – what saddens me is that both have points to say but the way in which they’re either presented and said are not practical nor respectable .Wouldn’t it be nice if people listened – I stand neutral believing that everyone is equal (you hear that a lot in the post I know) and human.

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

What is Autism?

Autism is different and unique for each person who has the it – it’s made of different “ingredients” that means that the overall profile is unique to that person how they process information, if they have additional learning disabilities or not, if they have food intolerances, auto-immune disorders and so forth – in other words it is a set of pre-existing conditions and has a “stacking effect” and a point of origin which in itself is unique to each person- Olga Bogdashina calls it Autisms  and Donna Williams calls it a Fruit Salad. That is why all realities of Autism are different and diverse.

Looking Towards the Future – Equalism and Egalitarianism

If one would strip all the militancy, bullying and aggression by people on and off the autism spectrum - would that create a bigger pathway of diversity? Would more voices be heard? More realities listened too and acknowledged? Would new ideas flourish? I certainly hope so. We are equal in this world and no one is above or below anyone else we all have our stories to tell.

Final Conclusion – Everybody Having A Say 

Every human being on earth has right to be listened too, supported, acknowledged, cared for a appreciated for being them and seeing their personhood. So by bringing everyone into the scene you don’t  have “them” and “us” you see and have different points of views for and by different people on the spectrum or not but equal in their validity, by not having extremism you having balanced acknowledgment of both agreement and disagreement.

Inclusion is Bringing a Diverse set of views from Different Places

  • People on the whole of the autism spectrum
  • People who are functionally non-verbal
  • People with autism and learning disabilities
  • People from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Parents, family members, carers and guardians
  • Autism professionals (neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists etc)
  • Educational teams
  • Other services

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

Steve Strange – The Man In The Blitz

10959687_10153138014804052_1550923371333130875_nA true pioneer of the New Romantic fashion movement and the creative and distinct frontman of the music band VisageSteve Strange created some truly memorable, evocative and emotional music that stood the test of time and in my opinion never got old.

Not only was the music (both arrangement and lyrics) excellent but the videos that were made were equally important – I always found Visage’s promotional videos like “mini-movies” telling the story of the song with depth and atmosphere. The haunting “Fade to Grey”, the bizarre “Mind Of A Toy” and the Spy-Thriller-esque “Night Train” stand out to me.

Visage’s and Steve proved with their Album “Hearts and Knives” that they were still an original band with striking artwork and provocative songs.

The Man In The Blitz

Painted faces all around
Bows and frills
One man stands his ground

Silver topped cane one week
Trilby hat the next
Looking distinct and sleek

Man of a thousand emotive words
The colourful storm
An electronic thunderclap ruffles the herds

Ahead of his time all round
Creations a wonder
Lost never again but redeemed and found

Inspired by Steve Strange (1959-2015) Frontman of Visage

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

Why I Have Autism (Rather Than Asperger’s Syndrome) And The Importance In The Differences

Sensory Explorer

Different Worlds – All Human

I think in the ever growing diversity of the distinct and person-centred presentations of autism it is important to know and acknowledge the crucial differences between Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome. Both are which are forms of autism but have different “mechanics” that drive them. I have Autism (as opposed to Asperger’s Syndrome).

I live in a world before the literal, words tumble in my mind into sounds I love tone, melody and beats they brings my world alive. I live in world world where visuals hold no significance fragmented and not in my “mind’s eye” and need to be touched in order to be “seen”.

I like elevated gesture and tone when people speak dead words wander alive into my mind and give them meaning and circumstance. Where a sense of “self” is not wanting to be exposed by the directness of people but at the same time I want to understand “other” even if I struggle to at times. I am empathic young man and this not through lack of care nor wanting. I care deeply.

Logic and literalism are not the name of the game for me to “decode” the word around me it’s sensing, patterning and feeling to gain an “understanding”. I am using a different part of my brain. So as with AS Autism has many different presentations too this is mine. I think it is important to know differences it has helped me so much to know that.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome – Differences? Why?

Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are both forms of autism – there have unique diverse characteristics in terms of “mechanics” on the surface one may say they look the same but is one delves deeper you realise that the what is going on may be different in terms either trajectory and/or origin. Everyone on the spectrum has a unique profile – Olga Bogdashina calls it autisms and Donna Williams calls it an autism fruit salad both are saying that it is person-centred, 3 Dimensional, diverse and different. Understanding the differences is just as beneficial in terms of education, learning, development, environment, identity, mental health, health systems and more

Donna Williams 2011‘Autism’, (by contrast with Asperger’s Syndrome), can be about the world before the ability to keep up with literal meaning. In this regard it can be a very different world to the world of interpretation and ‘meaning’.”

“I was asked what I thought the main different feature was between Autism and Asperger’s. I think you’ll maybe find in reading through the site on brain hemisphere specialisation that there are many Aspies who may be better at left brain stuff and many Auties who may be more right brain but not nearly recognised for the abilities they do have as much as they are recognised for the left-brain abilities they don’t have.”

©  Donna Williams

Autism Diverse Profiles – “A Stacking Of Pre-Existing Conditions” – “Aspinauts”

With that being said there are people how are dipping both toes – (developmentally and profile-wise) into both the Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome profiles, yes it is that fluid like a pot with many paints inside some.  Everyone has a story to tell.

Copyright D.Williams from her Blog

Differences between Aspergers and Autism ‘fruit salads’?

  • higher degrees and severity of gutimmunemetabolic disorders, epilepsy and genetic anomalies impacting health systems – This is related to the family and history of cancer of both sides of my family including a recognised gene deletion 
  • mood, anxiety, compulsive disorders commonly observed since infancy – This is in my book “Living Through The Haze” in my early years I was showing signs of these issues from pre-school onwards
  • commonly amazing balance but commonly hypotonia
  • simultagnosia/meaning blindness rather than just scotopic sensitivity – Visual fragmentation and “seeing without meaning” is specifically to do with both simultagnosia, context blindness and semantic agnosia
  • verbal agnosia/meaning deafness - I have problem with filtering words with meaning they revert back sounds the larger the chunks of information
  • verbal communication impairments (aphasia, oral dyspraxia, verbal agnosia and associated echolalia and commonly secondary Selective Mutism)- “losing words within me”, having problems with articulation, patterning, themeing and feeling my own langauge (before interpartive language), reading information without meaning, echolalia and when speech was gained
  • higher severity of LD/Dyslexia/agnosias – Yes this relates to understanding/processing information
  • tendency toward OCD/Tourettes, also higher rate of Schizotypal PD, DPD is common and tends to be more severe – Yes developed OCD aged 12, tic disorder and throat clearing age 8, Schizotypal and Borderline PDs
  • higher tendency to Exposure Anxiety more than AvPD – Exposure Anxiety in Childhood/Teenage Years and  and Early Adulthood
  • higher tendency toward dissociative states (dissociation, derealisation, depersonalisation) - Yes this relates to me
  • poetry by those with autism as opposed to AS commonly indicates those with autism can have high levels of introspection, insight – Yes this does relate to me
  • ADHD extremely common co-occurrence – Hyperactivity as a child

Related Blogs on Subject 

Studies – Differences Between Asperger’s Syndrome & Autism

Why I have Autism And Not Asperger’s Syndrome?

Differences between Aspergers and Autism ‘fruit salads’? 

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

Haunting Ground (2005) – Video Game Review

HauntingGround5GAME TYPE

This game is a survival-horror in style and genre it also has elements of memory tests and puzzles as well as alternate endings depending on what you do or not do.

STORY

The story itself is cleverly woven and keeps the viewer/player interested – It also bears the question what is life? What does it mean? and what bearing does it have on how we live it? I like games that ponder these questions and by nature Haunting Ground does in overt gothic-horror like fashion.

CHARACTERS

What is interesting about all the characters is that they are with their intense wants – it one of those rare games that questions the social negativity in this world such as people with learning and developmental disabilities (Debilitas) and the wanting to be liked, the negative male misogynistic attitude towards women (Daniella) and the pain it causes, the destructive nature of egotism and selfishness (Riccardo & Lorenzo) and jealousy singled mindedness that comes with it. It also shows the positive nature of animals in the form of Hewie the dog and persistence of good in the from of the main character Fiona.

I highly recommend this game not only for its nostalgia trip but it’s cleverly woven plot, well constructed characters and interesting storyline.

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

Gamera – The Giant Monster (1965) Film Review

Gamera The Giant Monster OVERVIEW

Gamera was released in 1965 by that time there had been many giant monster movies in the Japan and Gamera was the next one in the line, unlike Godzilla Gamera touches on the industrial and scientific  progression in Japan as well as the notable dynamics of the family, young and old. It is important to say that this released 9 Years after Godzilla.

GAMERA

The monster is “neutral” in its intent it wants food a gain nourishment through fuel in the literal sense it consumes (could this be a metaphor for the future) in large quantities. Gamera’s primary intentions are not to harm but to survive and find food the first points of exposition around the monster are explained by two key characters a zoologist and his scientific friend.

The second form of exposition is through young child who Gamera saves (this would become a staple of the series as the movies progressed) who sees Gamera as not only friend but as victim of misunderstanding through everyone else – his intentions are misunderstood by everyone the military, the zoologist and the scientists and it is reflected in their actions towards him. The child acts as a voice of reason.

It touches on the importance of families and young people in general as the future generation as well as (stated above) the technological advances in humanity (fuel consumption, rockets, military advancements) however I don’t think the movies is trying glamourise this embellishments in anyway.

Gamera StillSPECIAL EFFECTS 

For 1965 the moves special effects are very well made, constructed and photographed – I viewed this movie in HD (1080i 60fps) Upscaled to full HD and they a notablely good in the battle scenes and Gamera is going through the city the attention to detail through the production team is notable, not only did they create an original monster but created a realistic world around him. 

CONCLUSION

Gamera – The Giant Monster I feel is a lost gem among the Japanese monster movies of this decade it is a well shot and well executed movies with an interesting plot and a endearing character that would process through the series.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,057 other followers