Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Tokyo Godfathers (2004) – Film Review

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OVERVIEW

Tokyo Godfathers’ premise is a gritty, unsettling, sad and ultimately raw Christmas time movies set in the lonely and dark streets of Japan it follows three unlikely heroes on their quest to bring an baby back it it’s parents and also find themselves in the process.

PLOT

Social profiling is a difficult subject to portray in a “live action” movie but this adventitious and progressive anime sets a tone that is real and provocative the three main characters are a transgender drag queen who longs to find a partner, a girl running away from a Father who never listens to her and a man whom felt a failure as “family man”.

The movie has depth and clarity it is talking about family ties, relationships, companionship loss and hope, new beginnings, frail futures and concrete pasts all the characters have a story to tell with them looking back and moving forward. The commentary is vast it is about the middle class looking down on the poor, transphobia, homophobia,  the young preying on the weak, and young feeling they are not listened to by their elders, the system of money that seems to be more important than love with an westernised construct.

This movie on a social commentary fulfils all it goals with grace, eloquent, grit, wit and affection the overall message right down to the last scene is the importance of true love, autonomy and hope.

ANIMATION

The tones, colours and hues are excellent, crisp and vivid with a mixture of tradition cell animation, painted backdrops and CGI that complements the tone of the movie the level of detail is amazing. The movie was viewed on a HD TV (1080p  50fps upscaled from a standard definition Region 2 DVD Release of the movie by Sony in 2004) this was an very impressive experience with clear and balanced colours and crisp and clear audio.

CONCLUSION

The late Satoshi Kon has made some truly memorable anime spectacles during tenure as a director primarily dealing with the blurring of reality, in this movie he does the complete opposite showing a stark unapologetic social landscape with endearing characters that tap into the human spirit. Highly recommended.

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Author: Paul Isaacs

Paul was branded as a “naughty & difficult child” at school. He was classically autistic and non-verbal due to speech articulation difficulties. He had complex sensory issues and appeared both deaf and blind. He gained functional speech around the age of 7 or 8 years old. He went through the mainstream school system with no additional help or recognition of his autism. Consequently, he did not achieve his academic or his social potential and had very low self-esteem. At age 11, Paul was referred to the children’s mental health service with childhood depression where he was regarded as “developmentally underage” and having speech problems. As an adult, Paul had a string of unsuccessful jobs, and his mental health suffered. He developed both Borderline and Schizotypal Personality Disorders in early 2007. He was referred to mental health services and misdiagnosed with “Asperger traits with a complex personality”, which did not satisfy Paul or his family. A local autism organisation put Paul in touch with an experienced psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with Autism at 24 years old. In 2012 Paul was also diagnosed with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome by an Irlen Consultant who confirmed that he also had face, object and meaning blindness – conditions which Paul describes eloquently in his speeches and training sessions. He also has dyslexia, dyscalculia and also a dissociative disorder. Having started working as an local autism organisation as a public speaker in 2010, Paul joined their mission to promote autism awareness. His hope is that others will not have to suffer as he did. Now also a core member of our Training Team, Paul continues to enhance true understanding of autism at every opportunity. Paul has released and published 5 books on the subject of autism published by Chipmunka publishing and has contributed to other books too. Having overcome many challenges to achieve the success that he now enjoys, Paul’s message is that Autism is a complex mix of ability and disability. He firmly believes that every Autistic person should have the opportunity to reach their potential and be regarded as a valued member of society. Apart from autism related blogs Paul also write about movies, fashion, art and anything that is of interest. As of August 2015 Paul now works as a freelance speaker, training and consultant in and around the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire area. If you are interested please contact him via email at staypuft12@yahoo.co.uk

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