Friday, 13 November 2009

Losing the plot

I'm a big fan of movies and I tend to enjoy all sorts…or most sorts. Even if a movie isn't that great I always like to think I at least got something out of it. I'm also a collector of movies and I like to see my collection grow. There is one thing I sometimes have problems with, and I'm beginning to wonder of it's something relating to my Asperger's Syndrome (AS).

With some movies I tend to have problems following character-related plot elements. Not always, but there are just some movie plots that revolve around a lot of characters and their interactions and relationships with each other. Invariably these change at some pivotal point in the movie and it is then that I tend to lose track of what is happening. When the defining moments come I often can't remember that particular character's past story and motivations, and their relationships to the other characters. I can tell something meaningful is happening but as I don't remember the "old" I can't compare it to the "new" so the point of the change passes over me. Often I don't even recognise people as being the same character when their role changes - I don't connect that this is the same person who has just changed and not a new actor in the movie It's especially bad in foreign language movies that are subtitled, and for some reason movies that involve the same actor playing multiple characters.

A possible reason for this is that my AS is stopping me fully connecting with, or relating with people. Stopping me engaging with their motives, desires and feelings. Maybe I'm failing to record in my mind their past deeds as it's not something I'm used to doing, so when the plot twist forces me to recall their emotional journey I just draw a blank? The dual-character issue could just be a doubling up of my problems as to me they are the same person. Maybe it's too much of a stretch to remember two sets of past motives for what is the same person given I have problems remembering just one. With subtitled movies I find it very had to relate the voice to the character and it's almost like everything is just swimming around in one big soup. All mixed together as any character could be relaying what is being related along the bottom of the screen.

Of course it could also just be that I'm not intelligent enough to be watching anything that isn't laden with special effects.

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