• SRQ Backlot: Recently wrapped on his latest film, Anasthesia – which Nelson wrote, directed and also stars in – Nelson stopped by Ringling [Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab] to meet the students, share stories and guest-instruct, workshopping scenes with budding artists. Before sitting with students, Nelson took a moment with SRQ to talk Anasthesia, the importance of education and why he loves James Franco.
It was in reaching back to his days as a student in graduate school in New York that Nelson found inspiration for Anasthesia. Starring Sam Waterston (Law & Order, The Newsroom) and Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman), the film follows the intersection of strangers brought together when a college professor is attacked and seeks refuge in a nearby apartment building, ringing buzzers and hoping for help. As a student, Nelson lived in a very similar building.
“I would sit often and just listen to what was going on out in the street and I wondered what would happen if one witnessed some violent episode over one of those intercoms,” said Nelson. It’s not an autobiographical film, but Nelson won’t deny that much of his own life did go into the story. Grown and a father, he wanted to explore marriage and family, just as he wanted to honestly reflect New York, where he made his home for 20 years. Still, he was careful not to force anything. “The story just built itself,” said Nelson. “That’s the way I write – I choose a central event and build from there.”
Since Child of God, Nelson has gone on to collaborate with Franco four more times, twice more adapting classic American novels for the screen with William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury. Without these invigorating projects, Nelson says he doubts he ever would have made Anasthesia.
“James changed my life. I’ll be forever indebted,” said Nelson. “I love him and I love what he does.”
Nelson hopes to release Anasthesia in New York City in the coming months.
- Tim Blake Nelson hoping a release in NYC in the coming months makes me think of the Tribeca Film Festival. It will run from April 15-26, the lineup will be announced first week of March. :)
IC, our 'Anesthesia' tag. :)