Pages

Saturday, April 1, 2017

‘Perfectly Normal’: Autism Through a Lens

At about the halfway point of “Perfectly Normal,” the artful short documentary about a man with Asperger’s syndrome, there is a rare filmic experience of the sensory overload of autism.

For about a minute, as Jordan, the articulate middle-aged subject of the film, speaks about his own condition, the music skitters and booms, rapid jump cuts intensify the sense of danger, and in this swelling moment of uncertainty, the viewer experiences a fleeting sense of what it might be like to live in a condition of permanent, anxious neural flood. “You think life has one circle, but no, there are circles which are added to extra circles that create chaos, and it looks like you’re drowning,” Jordan says. 

(The film is the latest release in The New York Times’ Op-Docs series.)