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Alison Wilde

Alison Wilde is a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. Most of her research is on the topic of screen representations of impairment and disability, with a focus often placed on gender and audience interpretations. Her research and writing has included publications on soap opera, reality television, and cinema. She is currently completing a book for Ashgate, on the topic of film, comedy and disability, and is also writing papers on young people's experiences of viewing 'disability films'.

Posts by Alison Wilde

Photo of three male wheelchair-users on a road

Kills on Wheels – a dark comedy that tackles assumptions about disability

Kills on Wheels directed by Atilla Till follows the exploits of a wheelchair-using gang of assassins. Alison Wilde applauds the movies’ use of narrative and dialogue to scorn assumptions made of disabled people and the attempt to break new ground in cinema-making, whilst discussing the films' flaws. The first thing you ...

Baby Driver, cop chase scene

Baby Driver – a head on collision with disablism?

Alison Wilde reviews the Hollywood heist movie, Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright and starring Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey alongside deaf actor CJ Jones. She finds the innovative use of music and disability themes has her overlooking her usual attitude towards action films, and cars in general. I’m not a ...

Julian Barrett

Mindhorn: a hilarious comedy, but disablist language is no laughing matter

Directed by Sean Foley and starring and co-written by Julian Barrett of Mighty Boosh fame, Mindhorn follows the mishaps of a washed-up actor. The film features both mental illness and learning disability. Alison Wilde considers if using disablist language can be justified for a film that lampoons dated attitudes. This is ...

A photo of a young actor with Down's Syndrome behind the wheel of a car

Learning to Drive – a road movie with a difference

Learning to Drive (Written and directed by US film-maker Roderick E. Stevens) gives actor Connor Long (Michael) ample room for his skill at comedic timing. Also starring Kevin Coubal (as brother Red), and Caleb Dykstra (as Young Michael), the short film sets a precedent in its' representation of people with ...

Wiener-Dog – the recent idiosyncratic film from Todd Solondz

Wiener-dog, written and directed by Todd Solondz and released by IFC Films, follows the wayward adventures of a dachshund. Alison Wilde felt compelled to write about the film impressed very much, and unexpectedly by elements relating to impairment and disability. I love Solondz’s work; his film Happiness (1998) is, and always ...

Still of cartoon Mantaray fish

Finding Dory – a Pixar film with a pro-disability message

Dr Alison Wilde explores the impairment and disability-based narratives in a ‘disability film’ she can finally recommend. Finding Dory offers the Disney-Pixar package but rolls with the punches while ultimately providing a reassuring message for children about the possibilities life presents. I took my four year-old grand-daughter to see Finding Dory directed ...

Thea Sharrock’s film ‘Me before You’

Adapted by Jojo Moyes from her 2012 novel Me Before You this British-American romantic film premiered in cinemas nationally last week to much protest from disabled people. Alison Wilde analyses a film that makes a gnawing toothache feel like fun. I saw this film on the first day of screening, partly to see how the audience responded to it, but also ...