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Alison Wilde

Alison Wilde was a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and is now an Independent Scholar. 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 working on her second book Performing Diversity: Inequalities and Inclusion in Film and Television and is series editor for Disability, Media, Culture published by Peter Lang Press.

Posts by Alison Wilde

Film poster featuring two young white women, one with a shaved head and a black man all in an embrace as they look at the camera

Music – a cacophony of disableist representation

The film Music, directed by Sia seems to have been almost universally dubbed as the most disableist portrayal of Autism yet, in the 21st century. Alison Wilde gives a deeper analysis of the problems behind this movie and undercovers more subtle strands of misrepresentation. This is one film which I think ...

Film still of two white male and female actors in a indoors scene from the ITV soap

Coronation Street and its changing approach to disability

Alison Wilde takes a glance across two decades of Coronation Street in an analysis of the ITV soap's representation of Disability, highlighting characters whose storylines portray an understanding of the social model of disability. I am a long-time fan of Corrie, despite some occasional despair at over-extended storylines that sometimes stretched ...

Documentary and Disability edited by Catalin Brylla and Helen Hughes. Palgrave, 2017

Documentary and Disability is a collection of contributions from media scholars, film practitioners and film historians connecting the fields of documentary and disability studies and outlining the historical role played by documentary film in the social construction of disability. Review by Alison Wilde This book will be indispensable for a wide ...

The Disordered Eye – presented by Richard Butchins for BBC Four

In his latest television documentary disabled artist and film-maker Richard Butchins investigates whether good vision equals great art and looks at modern and historical artists through the lens of their impaired vision. Review by Alison Wilde It was a delight to watch Richard Butchins’ latest documentary programme for BBC4. Like his ...

film flyer

The Festival of Minds and Bodies presents ‘Who Cares?’

In the second of commissioned responses to The Festival of Minds and Bodies at the Wellcome Collection, London, Alison Wilde reflects on the screening of Who Cares? a short film about caring, by Catherine Long, Felipe Pagani and Charles Stuart. On Saturday 30th November I went along to the Festival of ...

Culture Access produce a day of comradeship, privilege and inspiration

Culture Access’s celebrations for UK Disability History Month and the International Day of Disabled People on 3 December took place in Woolwich on Saturday 30th November. With a bevvy of performance and arts workshops on offer, Alison Wilde and Richard Downes sent a joint reflections on the event and the ...

brightly coloured film still

Oska Bright 2019 Preview Part 2: Sci Fi: Alternative Worlds

Alison Wilde previews the films in Oska Bright Film Festival's Sci Fi: Alternative Worlds screening on Thursday 24 October, 7pm - 8.30pm.  I have wanted to go to the Oska Bright Film Festival since it started back in 2004, and am now, after viewing some of the films in the Science ...

Tom Shakespeare with Richard Butchins

Dwarfs in Art: A New Perspective

Dwarfs in Art: A New Perspective is a documentary presented by disabled filmmaker Richard Butchins, which explores the representations of people with dwarfism throughout the centuries in art and culture, revealing society's shifting attitudes towards people with dwarfism. It is first being broadcast on BBC Four on 20 August 2018. ...

A Quiet Place, The Silent Child, and some very loud questions

In her latest film critique Alison Wilde compares underlying messages of two films featuring deaf actors cast in lead roles - the Hollywood horror A Quiet Place and the award-winning short The Silent Child - and asks some deeper questions about the issue of disabled actors playing disabled roles. A Quiet ...

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 film's 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 ...