I was deeply saddened by the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. His demons were his alone, and we may never know what was the final catalyst that made his life intolerable.
Like many fans of Hoffman, I surfed the internet for articles written about this very brilliant actor, who stole and broke my heart back in 1999, when he portrayed a drag queen in Flawless co-starring Robert Di Niro
In an article by Tom Junod of Esquire: Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Secret: The cost of holding up a mirror to those who could barely stand to look at themselves. Junod always believed that Hoffman could detach himself from his characters, but in truth, this was not to be: The great character actors are now the actors whose work has the element of ritual sacrifice once claimed by the De Niros of the world, as well as the element of danger— the actors who thrill us by going for broke. It should be no surprise when, occasionally, they break, or turn out to be broken. RIP.
My instincts told me that somehow Philip Seymour Hoffman might pay attention to autism. Lo and behold, there it was: Bad IQ, a documentary in the works, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as himself. The film is a documentary abut autism, filmed by autistic students. The story line caught my eye: An in-depth look at Autism disorders and the social impact it leaves throughout the public. The cast includes celebrity parents of autistic children; Joe Mantegna, Ed Asner and Aidan Quinn to name a few.
I am intrigued by the title Bad IQ, as it is virtually impossible to glean an accurate IQ score for individuals with autism. The range of "splinter" skills is vast, and while my own child can tell you the exact day your birthday was 10 years ago, he might not be able to answer a simple math question. It is all about language. What this means, is that the value for individuals with autism is pioneer territory. Their talents must be tapped and contoured . It's worth it.
The future for individuals with autism is veritably in the hands of the public. Who are we without our neighbors. This is a rhetorical question. Every school child that sits next to an individual with autism will be forever changed by that experience. We, as a society have the power to make that change matter. Teach Your Children Well is more than just a song. It is a message You, who are on the road, must have a code, that you can live by.
While Philip Seymour Hoffman suffered a tragic end, in death, he has left a message of hope by participating in this important film.