The Duplass Brothers (Jay and Mark Duplass, “The Puffy Chair”) have a produced a new documentary, “Asperger’s Are Us” for Netflix (late 2016), directed by Alex Lehmann.
The documentary traces the lives of four older teens in the Boston area who have somewhat “outgrown” their Asperger’s syndrome (and possibly brushes as children with more severe autism) and who put on a comedy show (the Asperger’s Comedy Troupe) in early 2015 before going their separate ways, to work or college (one goes to Oxford).
The leader of the pack is Noah Britton, the oldest (around 20), tall and lean and frankly charismatic. The others are Jack Hanke, New Michael Ingemi (who had outgrown extreme anger and self-control problems as a boy, according to his own narrative), and Ethan Finlan, who likes trains.
The speech and manner of the young men does not seem exceptional by today’s customs. Perhaps the talk is sometimes slightly nerdy and deliberate, but not all that much.
Yet, the boys provide some narrative of their earlier years, including special education in some cases, showing binders one of them created (I remember grading special ed. Binders as an assignment back in 2006 when I was working as a substitute teacher). On of the boys describes earlier aversion to unwanted physical contact, a “cut off of sensitivity” and “dulling of the senses”. I recall this from my own experience in 1962 at age 19 at NIH, when I once said in family therapy “I want to be dulled”. These were difficult days, brought on in some part by the expectations of others.
The final show has some skits, like “Small Claims Court”, and even “Presidential Press Conference”. The boys must have predicted that Donald Trump would run and win, as Ethan plays a caricature of today’s president Trump (and this is two years ago) and fires back, “Are you a pervert?” Or maybe he resembles Sean Spicer even more. This could almost get on to SNL.
|Name:||“Asperger’s Are Us“|
|Director, writer:||Alex Lehmann|
|When and how viewed:||Netflix instant play|
|Companies:||Netflix Red Envelope, Duplass|
|Link:||Troupe official site, film site FB|
I also reviewed “Tower”, by Keith Meitland, about the University of Texas Tower shooter rampage In 1966, on a legacy blog yesterday (after it played on PBS; see Index).
(Aspergers is often spelled without the apostrophe.)
Picture: demonstration om Cambridge, MA in August 2015, my visit.
(Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 6:30 PM EST)