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Featured "Rainman (1988)" reference used to explain "Autism & Obsessions"

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Aspie_With_Attitude, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Aspie_With_Attitude

    Aspie_With_Attitude Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In this video content that I've uploaded a week ago, I had discussed "Obsessions" amongst people who are autistic. Instead of sharing my personal experience obsessing over something ridiculous, I had decided to look into pop culture or in classic films about autism such as "Rainman".

    I only covered one aspect in the film "Rainman" when Dustin Hoffman's acting out as an autistic has this real irritating obsessions about UNDERPANTS. When I watched the film for the first time, even thou I am autistic, I did find this annoying how Raymond, the name of the autistic character that Dustin Hoffman plays actually very irritating. I am glad that I seen the movie instead of meeting anybody who had that obsession in real life.

    I only wanted to use this example from the film "Rainman" to discuss who far some people would get having an irritating obsessions like that.

    I am made for certain that I would have irritating obsessions, the trick is not to let it roll off from my own tongue.
     
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  2. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think Raymond’s problem with underpants counts as an autistic obsession/fixation. Rather, it’s an example of the way many autistic people require sameness and ritual in their lives. An obsession is e.g. learning everything about frogs, presidents, trains, maps, etc.
     
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  3. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The person Rainman was based off of wasn't autistic. It sucks that so many base their perceptions of autism off that movie. Kim Peek - Wikipedia
     
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  4. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    I read a discussion on this topic not long ago that suggested Hoffman chose to play Raymond as autistic because it was already suspected, and later tentatively confirmed, that Peek had FG Syndrome which affected his physical appearance in a way that would have required extensive make up.
    It was speculated that were the film made today, CGI would have made it much easier to represent the cranial characteristics of FG Syndrome in which case the decision to make the character autistic would have been unnecessary.
     
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  5. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  6. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    Never seen it.
     
  7. Dr. Eh Hol

    Dr. Eh Hol not a real doctor

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    Although I think Dustin Hoffman was a good emissary for autism, the movie itself was not. Raymond was always a fetish object for Charlie - at first as a key to money, then as a existential mirror, then back to money, then back to existential fodder. There are only a few minutes of the long runtime where the characters are equalized to the audience - but, this is never on their obsessions. The audience will agree with Charlie's obsession of money and success. Those obsessions are OK.

    Another blockbuster with a similar problem is Driving Miss Daisy, where Morgan Freeman's character is constantly fetishized as the help. Even in the last scene where we are supposed to see them as lifelong friends, Morgan Freeman is still serving Miss Daisy. The audience sees this power dynamic as OK since Miss Daisy is wealthy. The only time the audience is invited to see them as equals is when the cops pull them over and both are subject to epitaphs and degradation.

    All that aside, I still enjoy both movies. Since all ASDs are different, I don't find any problem with Hoffman's portrayal. It is consistent and dedicated. I do wish they had touched on other cognitive disabilities, as Raymond's character seems to have one or two others complicating his independence.

    Rain Man is played on free tv often. Since I saw Hook before I saw Rain Man, I always wait for Dustin Hoffman to break character and look up at Tom Cruise with a grimace and say "Rufio, Rufio, RUFIO!" But it never happens.
     
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  8. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Rainman confuses me on autism and I'm glad that you explained what you did @Autistamatic . Too many autistic traits are omitted and I don't think it serves as a good example at all. And I think it's sad that the movie was actually used as part of my nurse training in psych to portray autism, which is the reason I would never have recognized the autism in myself - I was looking for Rainman.
     
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  9. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think there are different types of obsessions. It can be a preoccupation or fixation. If I wear the wrong type of outfit, I become preoccupied with it, and constantly trying to fix it to feel right and can not focus on anything else. We can become obsessed with anything or anyone, where we can't think of anything else to the point it interferes with our lives. There's probably a fine line between obsession and routine or maybe they overlap or maybe they go hand in hand.
     
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  10. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    When I was a kid I was told not believe everything I saw in movies or TV. I don't understand why so many adults do believe it, although in many cases it's the only "information" they're getting. And they believe everything they see on the internet now, and it's even worse.
     
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  11. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Just because the character in the movie was apparently diagnosed
    as being autistic doesn't mean than anybody needs to construe the
    fictional character as being a perfect representation of an autistic person.

    Sometimes people are misdiagnosed in real life. Why not in fiction, as well?
     
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  12. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Personally I think it was a product of autism speaks this is how non-autistic people see autistic adults
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Expectations for audiences may remain higher than what they ever get from Hollywood, whether in film or television. Especially when you factor in creative concerns of writers, directors, producers, method actors and personal injury concerns of corporate studio attorneys.

    There's just too many variables that continue to perpetuate stereotypes or misnomers in the media.
    However in a general sense, real accuracy has seldom been a priority with much of any film or television production to begin with. Where so many producers privately or publicly lament that accuracy comes at the expense of creativity.

    So we get characters like "Rain Main" and "Sheldon Cooper" . Whether we want them or not. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  14. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    The only film I’ve ever seen that portrays autism in a positive light and features autistic characters who don’t conform to the typical Hollywood/autism stereotype is Mozart and the Whale. (Funnily enough, the screenplay was written by the same man who wrote the screenplay for Rainman.) Hollywood loves representing us as tragic clowns to be laughed at and felt sorry for. It makes them money.
     
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  15. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    TBH I don't mind Raymond that much. The chances are uncommon sure, but it's not like someone on the spectrum couldn't be like him.
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I liked that film a lot as well.

    Pity though that Hollywood will always be thinking first and foremost about entertainment, and not enlightenment. But yes, it is how they make a living from their perspective. Whether art truly imitates life or not just isn't a priority for them, and probably never will be. :(
     
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  17. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    It’s like @GrownupGirl said. People tend to believe what they see in movies. It shapes their reality. Remember when we were talking about films based on historical events that fabricate and change facts? Same goes for autism.
     
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  18. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Indeed, no different than the tabloid press for some. :(

    Tragic though, given so much creative license always going around. As if reality wasn't en vogue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    I like the way you stated this in a nonderogtary way. You are helping me understand that part of myself. I think obsession helps when you are actively trying to disconnect from stress or behaviors from other people that don't make sense. It almost turns into a distraction technique to get me off of trying to query myself on why something was said, done, implied, whatever.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  20. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    In the DSM, strict adherence to routine is grouped separately from intense, fixated interests (i.e. obsessions). Rainman’s underwear problem was related to the former. If he knew the history of underwear from prehistoric times to the present, all styles and brands, etc., that would be an obsession or intense, fixated interest. His becoming anxious and preoccupied with not having his own underwear came about because of a break in ritual, routine, and sameness. So, in terms of autism, there is a distinct difference.

    From the DSM:

    2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day)
    3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).
     
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