Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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Basket Case 2 Blu-ray Review



The Original “Basket Case” was shot on a low-budget and in 16mm it starts off where the original left us after a quick recap it (with a blow-up version of the original print) we go from 16mm to 35mm! And the two brothers Duane and Belial are very much alive.

Rather than rehashing the first movie Frank Henenlotter opts for a different tone and take much akin to Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead 2” he in injects a firm dose of overt dark humour and comedy with dashes of trashy surrealism. The dynamic of the brothers in many ways takes a role reversal with Belial the one who is looking succeeding in finding a partner who is called Eve. Duane on the other hand is one who is the “outsider” but remains loyal to his brother and the people who have taken him in. It a in many ways a “family” movie as a opposed to the tragedy dynamic in first. The two brother’s worlds are opened up with hilarious consequences and ironic homage ending to the first move.


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Second Sight have done a brilliant job with the full 35mm presentation of the movie with colours and tone being detailed, deep and rich really showing of the extensive Belial upgrade and prosthetic make-up effects. There are the accusation specs of grain and dark other than that a brilliant presentation.

I watched this on my HD TV and in comparison to the previous DVD releases this is a big improvement most notable colour detail, image quality this an fantastic presentation.


I am glad Second Sight like with Arrow’s release of “Basket Case” kept to the roots of its original audio which is 2 channel stereo presentation which is clear, crisp with no audible problems such as distortion or hiss which is very good.


I giddy a wildly bizarre sequel that goes that despite being darkly comic still goes into areas of social commentary with the focus being expanding on the brothers interpersonal difficulties escalate in a wacky and wild finale.




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The Cognitive Aspects of Autism

Note This Is From a Personal Perspective

Image result for Donna Williams autism

I used to think I was stupid and there are many things which are a struggle. It’s hard for me to tell a garlic crusher from a can opener. I sometimes can’t visually recognise my own husband. I lose the meaning of things I’m not physically using so cooking and running water can be a problem. There is often no left or right in my world and up and down sometimes tumble too. I use objects to track my thought externally or have to type it out to experience it after it hits the screen. I often can’t tell if I like something, whether I’m hungry or whether I had a good day. But I can do so many things that people really struggle to understand how extremely uneven abilities can occur in the one person. But in fact, that is the cognitive definition of autism.

Donna Williams 2009

Cognition vs. Expression

I don’t know on a conscious level what I am always doing, thinking or feeling which means in responses that on the surface seem very “limited” or “surface” an action creates a response but not always a “connected” one.

I can however type long reams of introspective and emotional material on a unconscious level which seems paradoxically detached from what I can say verbally at times. My inner world is far more richer than at times what I can get out verbally. This lends to personality types which are more attunded to empathy I show this through art and poetry.

“Sensing” vs. Intellectual Procesing

I can see that this is to do with the residual aspects of being meaing deaf, context and meaning blind, information processing delays and langauge processing issues. I have found over the years “pathways” of extraction such as art and poetic writings. I “be” and the puzzle seems to all come together with an “unknown knonwingness” that I cannot do when I am in a more concious state as contrdicatry as it sounds one gets less out of me.

Paul Isaacs 2018


I Don’t Mind Being Solitary – Looking Beyond The Stereotypes

Me Early 20s Christmas Hat

Main Interests of the Solitary Personality Type

  1. finding solitude; being alone
  2. remaining independent; maintaining autonomy; being self-contained
  3. being dispassionate
  4. being indifferent to pleasure and pain
  5. remaining sexually composed; avoiding attachment to anyone
  6. being uninfluenced by praise or criticism


Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Solitary personality style. The following six characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  1. Solitude. Individuals with the Solitary personality style have small need of companionship and are most comfortable alone.
  2. Independence. They are self-contained and do not require interaction with others in order to enjoy their experiences or to get on in life.
  3. Sangfroid. Solitary men and women are even-tempered, calm, dispassionate, unsentimental, and unflappable.
  4. Stoicism. They display an apparent indifference to pain and pleasure.
  5. Sexual composure. They are not driven by sexual needs. They enjoy sex but will not suffer in its absence.
  6. Feet on the ground. They are unswayed by either praise or criticism and can confidently come to terms with their own behavior.

“Autism” Is Not A Personality Type

People often think that “autism” has a “look” it doesn’t and never has when people think of autism they may think and/or mentalise certain people they have come across, members of the family, people in movies and/or films etc.

Solitary By What Factors?

Being solitary can fall into differing camps some people can be solitary by circumstances that are out of their control such as the loss of parents and/or guardians, having a small family and other circumstances others may have the complete opposite but their values and environmental factor and/or influences. Some can be both.

I fall into the the category of of circumstance/ environment genetic my family is small, I have sister who I have only met three times when I was in my late teens, I still have my parents and my Nan on my mother’s side. I have never had a partner and would consider myself asexual.

I Value Life

What has this given me time to do? I say that because people are probably going to focus on the the things I have missed or not been apart of? I understand why such comment or feelings would be made. I do not feel I have missed out on anything nor do I feel I have been given a ticket that has not taken me to all the places in the amusement park.

Observing, Friendships & Interests

I love life and being observer of people, the goings on, their life stories and so forth I feel connected to them. I have friends that are real friends because they are people who connect with rather than people that I feel I should be connecting with (there is a massive difference). I like going for long walks on my own, drawing, creating poetry/creative writings, watching movies and listening to music. I like sharing these things as well as “being”. This of course is peppered by being Idiosyncratic, Mercurial & Self Sacrificing.


I feel this have made me as I have matured more objective before you go out into the “world” you have be your own best friend first regardless of your wants and needs in life.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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Basket Case: 35th Anniversary Blu-ray Review



“Basket Case” is a low-budget comedy/tragedy/horror movie created and directed by Frank Henenlotter. Its story is about two brothers who travel to New York on a quest for bloody revenge for the doctors who separated them. I always found this movie to somewhat of genre mixture that goes beyond its “grimy” and “trashy” aesthetic, the brothers are joined through mental telepathy co-dependent on one another (at the start) but Duane goes off to seek love romance and connecting leaving the other brother to start fits of rage, rightful jealousy and anger toward Duane and finally his would be girlfriend.

It touches on the family dynamics and Father’s disregard to Belial as “human”, acceptance by the brother’s aunt, rejection by society and in the end each other, revenge for being separated and both brothers yearning (in similar ways) to be something more than you already are; so in essence the movie does have a “heart” and even a level of moral and social reflection in what is to be a human being and the wants, needs, desires that go with it so for me “Basket Case” is paradox.


Arrow Video and MoMA have given us maybe the definitive video presentation of “Basket Case” processed from the original 16mm negative cleaned, colour corrected and restored to its 16mm glory (old prints blew it up to 35mm making it look “odd” and “warped” how ironic) in 1080p and 4K.

I watched this on my HD TV and it looked amazing little details popped out, black saturation was smooth and not pixelated, overall colour was balanced throughout movie. It was amazing considering the old DVD prints I head and my Father renting it in 1983 saying it’s the best it ever looked.


The audio was on equal par with the video presentation. I am glad that Arrow decided to keep with the Mono soundtrack and not boosting it to surround. I noticed clear differences in the amount of auditory detail notably in Dr. Needleman’s office with the constant humming in the background. There was no hiss nor distortion probably because the audio source was the original.


With array of Arrow “goodies” on the disc which are a treat to watch, the quirky and delightful packaging and the mini booklet this was clearly a a labour of love and for people wanting something they have never seen before and for stalwart fans of this movie this is well worth the ride! What is in the Basket? Well come and see with this premier release. Highly Recommenced.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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Working On Yourself – Autism & Borderline Personality Disorder

Body Parts 2018

Note this is from a personal perspective

To say that my “autism” is all about “me” is highly reductive and naive statement to make it doesn’t take into account my life experiences, expectations, emotions and other worldly things that colour the palette of “who” and “what” you are.

Over the past year I have one and off thought a great deal about my own sense of self-awareness and the solidarity and sanctity of knowing your own vices and working on them.

Emotional Frequencies

For some people being “borderline” can about emotional Dysregulation and timely fluctuations in mood and the ability to manage them with a level of coherence and candour. This can lead to confusion for people around them a lack of continuity can scare and even push people away. The ability for me is to be objective and reign my emotions in.

Thoughts Vs. “Reality”

For some being “borderline” means thoughts and feelings are powerful and depending on your upbringing, emotional supply, developmental an environmental factors etc you can look at them as friend, enemy, partner, and divorcee. I have learnt that when a feelings are recognised over the years to “let it go” intensity subsides and management in the end is about taking control over something you may feel is “uncontrollable”.

Do Not Be A Doormat

For some being “borderline” may mean being passive and disagreeing and agreeing not making the inner connection with what is right or wrong which such a way of approaching conversation and you find yourself around strangers rather than people you really want to spend time with. Being honest with me has been a great help cutting of the cycle of being “used” because in the end I was letting people in with an open invitation.

Dissociation Vs. Self Identity & Fear Of “Aloneness” 

For some people being “borderline” can mean issues with boundaries and a lack of “self identity” and being prone to dissociation (derealisation and depersonalisation) that can hinder interpersonal relationships/friendships. Remaining a sense of “self” means the ability to become your own best friend not in egotistic or narcissistic sense but having a level of awareness of you own identity (groundedness) that you do not idolise nor demonise people.

Balance Is The Key

Everybody has 4 to 6 Personality types that include people on the autism spectrum so other factors for me are:

  • Visual perceptual disorders such as Faceblindness, meaning blindness and object blindness will have an impact on context, learning, mentalising and ability (or not) to retain “visual” information.
  • Language processing disorders such as aphasia, verbal agnosia, oral apraxia which has an impact on not only my ability to speak but to retain language with “meaning”.
  • Body disconnection, pain “deadness”, body agnosias, hemiplegia and alexithymia have made me at times unable to “recognise” and “perceive” inner emotional states and social-emotional frequencies.

Working on these challenges and seeing people as whole people as such will aid, empower and promote and healthy sense of “who you are” and build up sustainable and realistic foundations for autonomy.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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The Joy Of Happiness


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Happiness is the value not of the behind nor forward but of those little things between that move in a constant.

Cherished things are found there which no worldly goods to buy, they have no thought, no intellectualism and sometimes no words but the feeling is very much at the forefront. A likeable wistful motion that is captured in the roaming snapshot of time.

A valued place that can have a thousand wordless words, a million bountiful experiences. Is wrong to like the shimmer on a rain dropped petal? A sparkle in the water, a popping colour amongst  muteness and a cheery sounding bird calling out to its friends.

Maybe if human beings talked more the moment we wouldn’t be drenched the atrocities of the past and uncertainties of the future. I loving world is not much to ask and it’s above all free.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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What Is “Life”?

Peering through life I often wonder about it “what is it all about?” this may seem like a hopeless and uncomfortable question to ponder. We are not here for eternity, however memories and echoes of the past wonder and echo around us.

Things happen that change our perspective on life as an ongoing experience. People go on seemingly timeless changes in identity, health (mental or otherwise), perceptions, directions, fortunes (philosophical or otherwise too) maybe that is it in that is changeable, not tiresome, fluid, not stagnant, fruitful and not grey.

Balance is such a currency that one cannot buy but learn either through example or trial and error and that has been the most valuable to me.

Paul Isaacs 2018