Nathan Silver (the filmmaker, not statistician-media wunderkind) makes most other writer/directors seem downright lazy. He began making short films shortly after graduating college in 2005, and after a brief (seriously, three months) stay in grad school, he decided to go all-in with his cinematic ambition.
He didn’t wait for permission or much funding, either; his first feature-length film (after three shorts), “The Blind,” came out in 2009. His next, “Exit Elena,” really got him noticed upon its 2012 release, thanks to the acclaim he received for his very loose, improvisational techniques and lo-fi methods.
His most distinct quality as a director, though, is his willingness to cast his mom. First, she appeared in “Exit Elena,” and now she has a major role in his latest film, “Uncertain Terms,” playing a woman who runs a home for wayward pregnant girls.
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“I just always loved the way she told stories, she brings in a million ideas and never really gets to a point but somehow gets to appoint through all these non-sequiturs and I also love her sense of humor,” Silver said, though he soon highlighted a few complications that arise when bossing around your mother.
“It becomes a family affair when you direct your mother,” he added, laughing. “You fight with her like you would with your mother, not like another actor. Shes a very reluctant actor, she doesn’t like doing multiple takes, and you have to explain to her why, but in the end she always gets to that point. She does one take and she’s great and I’ll say we’re gonna do another angle and we’ll fight about it and I have to get her to the point where she can act with a clear head.”
Silver doesn’t have much time to bask in the premiere of his film, tomorrow at the LA Film Festival, as he’s going into production this summer on his next project, “Stinking Heaven,” about a commune for recovering drug addicts that is rocked by a young woman, played by Hannah Gross, who is having a breakdown.
“As soon as I started working on the characters with Keith Poulson and Deragh, we started talking about the commune, and I just started thinking about the early ’90s, when I had this terrible sense of anxiety and I don’t know what caused it, I started feeling it again, and I said I need to set it i that period because the same thing happened again,” Silver explained. “I started watching documentaries from the late ’80s and all the characters feel doomed and the way the video looks it feels like it was the end of it and I wanted to make a movie that has characters that it feels like the last legs of the commune they put together.”
The film will shoot in Passaic, New Jersey.