The Fly (Relaxed Screening)

USA 1986, 92 mins
Director: David Cronenberg

+ intro and discussion.

David Cronenberg’s heart-breaking horror about a man who realises ‘the insect is awake’ is a dark dissection of scientific optimism and the limits of the human body. Seth Brundle’s (Jeff Goldblum) transformation into the titular insect becomes the perfect vessel to talk about the pleasurable terrors of bodily experience, especially the complexities of the autistic body.

Selected and hosted by Ethan Lyon, co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast.

Director: David Cronenberg
Production Companies: Brooksfilms, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Producer: Stuart Cornfeld
Screenplay: Charles Edward Pogue, David Cronenberg

Jeff Goldblum (Seth Brundle)
Geena Davis (Veronica Quaife)
John Getz (Stathis Borans)
USA 1986
92 mins


Our In Dreams Are Monsters relaxed series will focus on two films that explore the limits of the human experience and the experience of living with autism. The absolute edge of consciousness provoked by overstimulation and the effect it has on the mind and body, especially the autistic mind and body, will be our focus for this short series.

Whether it’s the threat of your body morphing without your control or the nightmare of being locked in repetitious speech through an aural virus, both The Fly and Pontypool feature characters who are forced to re-evaluate their relationships with their own bodies when they encounter technology that threatens their sense of self.

After each screening join us for a relaxed discussion in the Blue Room as we unpack what makes these threats so chilling and how we can understand something of what it means to be autistic through these films.

Screenings selected from our In Dreams Are Monsters season by Ethan Lyon, a doctoral student at the University of Southampton and a co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast. His research focuses on fostering understanding around the lived experience of autism through gothic horror cinema from the 1930s to the 1960s.

We welcome your feedback on this screening.

BFI Southbank has been awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award.

The next relaxed screening is:
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL + intro and discussion Monday 12 December 18:30 Studio

Find out more at and

Relaxed Screenings

Relaxed screenings are presented each month for
those in the neurodiverse community, their assistants and carers.

• Customers can select their seats when they arrive in the auditorium. You may sit with your family/friendship group or there are some single seats if you prefer.

• Please leave space between yourself and other groups and retain your selected seats for the duration of the performance if possible.

• We encourage you to wear a face covering if you are able to.

• You are welcome to take refreshments into the auditorium but no hot food please.

• Doors will open 30 minutes before the screening.

• No trailers will be shown.

• The programme will be introduced.

• Our house lights will remain on a low level throughout the screening, and the volume will be turned slightly down.

• You will be able to leave the auditorium and return during the screening.

• There will be a quiet space to use if you need to leave the auditorium.

• We understand you may make some noise.

• Please ask us if you need help.