Thrown out of her New York City apartment, Natalia, a 25-year-old hot mess, relies on the kindness of friends and strangers. Seemingly unaware of the havoc she wreaks, she skips from one place to another, including her best friend’s, where she crashes a holiday meal and seduces the best friend’s socially inept brother. Natalia ends up staying at a shelter run by genuinely good Maury, who takes an interest in making her life better — but life is not that simple, and tragedy ensues.
With a menagerie of New York characters, set against the backdrop of a homeless shelter, a religious household, and the cacophonous streets of New York, ‘SOFT IN THE HEAD‘ is a look at how easy it is to lose one’s head in the big city, particularly for those already lost. We talked with ‘SOFT IN THE HEAD‘ Director & Co-Writer Nathan Silver in anticipation of the film’s 2013 Brooklyn Film Festival screenings, June 7 & 9, 2013 at Indie Screen & Windmill Studios NYC.
For More Information & Tickets to ‘Soft in the Head’ at the 2013 Brooklyn Film Festival – HERE
You are a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. How did the program at the University prepare you for a career in the film industry? How did the program compare to your expectations going into it?
It was the first step in learning everything I didn’t want to do, but that’s what school is for…or at least, that’s how I justify it to myself.
I majored in Dramatic Writing and expected to come out a playwright as that was my original intention. Midway through I fell hard for German movies and switched over to screenwriting. It was only after graduating that I started shooting pictures, and the rest is misery…
‘Soft in the Head’ is described as “a look at how easy it is to lose one’s head in the big city, particularly for those already lost.” Can you expand on this quote?
Well, on a basic level, the city doesn’t help anxiety.
I’m not sure the quote describes anything that’s in the movie, but synopses are either clever and unhelpful or helpful and bland.
In your own words, what makes ‘Soft in the Head’ a distinctly New York City story?
It’s about anxiety in claustrophobic spaces. If that’s not New York, I don’t know what is.
A homeless shelter, a religious household and the streets of New York play as integral backdrops for the film. Why did you decide these particular settings were important for the narrative to move along? Were there any NYC settings you thought about using but ultimately did not?
The settings all came from working out characters with the actors and figuring out where these characters belonged. Beforehand, I’d shot all my movies in Massachusetts, where I grew up, but this time round I wanted to make a movie in the Big Shitty, where I was (and still am) living.
No, there were no NYC settings that I thought about using. We set it in locations that we knew we had access to, and it helped that most of the movie is in close-up.
Why is the Brooklyn Film Festival an important destination in the life of ‘Soft in the Head’?
Considering that 80% of the movie was shot in Brooklyn, it just makes sense…in the grandest sense of “sense”.
About Nathan Silver
Nathan Silver graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2005. Since then, he has written and directed four short films and three feature films. His films have played festivals around the world, including Edinburgh, Vienna, Slamdance, Sarasota, Woodstock, Torino, and BAFICI. He has received praise from Filmmaker Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, and Indiewire. He is currently in pre-production on his fourth feature, SIMIAN.