'Patterns' A short documentary by Kirsten Sheridan.

Essay by Rochelle22High School, 10th grade April 2007

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Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that shapes the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with autism have difficulties with everyday social interactions, learning disabilities and difficulty in making sense of the world. Kirsten Sheridan found an interest in this and chose to portray it in a brief documentary. She lived with her autistic cousin and he was a strong influence on her which got her interested in autistic people. The short film is about an autistic boy and the way he sees things from his point of view and how he interprets things.

I will be analysing; the way Tommy acts compared to the other characters in the film, the different types of sounds used to represent what’s going on in Tommy’s head, camera angles, movement, lighting, colour and editing. Also, I will be looking at the patterns and shapes established or repeated throughout the film.

At the start of the film, there is a homely rhythmic guitar chord playing when Tommy is walking down the corridor alone. By doing this, Kirsten Sheridan gives the audience the awareness that Tommy is a simple person and that he likes things in a pattern or order. You can hear children playing outside; this makes us assume that Tommy is different as he was isolated from everyone else. The long camera shots show us that Tommy is walking with his head down and taking heavy steps like he is trying to block out all the noises going on around him.

At the beginning of ‘Patterns’ a plain, black and white check pattern is already established and gives us the notion that this pattern will be shown throughout the film. When Tommy was at school he couldn’t walk across the black and white tiled floor because he was...