Writer-Director Tim Blake Nelson Premieres His New Film, Leaves of Grass, at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway

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Viewers get an inside glimpse into the film making process.

Brad Balfour and Tim Blake Nelson

The very image of drama in ancient Greece was comedy and tragedy. I was ambitious about how much the movie could actually sustain and really took tonal chances during its production.

Students and members of the New York City film and arts community were among the first to see Leaves of Grass, a new feature film by writer-director Tim Blake Nelson, that premiered at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway on March 26, 2010. Audience members also had the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Nelson following the screening, which was sponsored by the Center for Communications at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT).

To be released nationwide on April 22, 2010, Leaves of Grass offers a twisting narrative that blends crime, drama, comedy, and classical philosophy in the pursuit of understanding what it means to live a happy and constructive life. Starring Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, the movie follows Ivy League professor Bill Kincaid (Norton), who receives news of the murder of his identical twin brother (also played by Norten) in a drug deal gone bad. After traveling back home to Oklahoma to learn more, Kincaid is quickly caught up in the dangerous and unpredictable drug trade that permeates the Southwest.

"The movie is classical in structure, as it has Greek and Roman antecedents in the theatricality of twins in a drama," said Nelson. "The very image of drama in ancient Greece was comedy and tragedy. I was ambitious about how much the movie could actually sustain and really took tonal chances during its production."

Following the screening, viewers got a glimpse of the filmmaking process in a question and answer session led by Brad Balfour of The Huffington Post and BMBmedia. Nelson discussed his inspirations for the movie, the technical process during its production, and his experiences in theater and film as a writer, director, and actor in more than 40 films, including Minority Report, Syriana, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? He was inspired by his own childhood in Tulsa, Okla., during the production of Leaves of Grass, and related many aspects of the characters in the movie to real people from his childhood.

"The premiere of Leaves of Grass at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway was an exciting opportunity for us because it gave viewers the chance to learn about the art of filmmaking from Tim Blake Nelson himself, a prominent figure in the movie industry, as well as be among the first to watch his exciting new film," said David Wheeler, director of media and public relations at NYIT.

The NYIT Auditorium on Broadway, which opened in October 2009, is a state-of-the-art theater space located on 1871 Broadway, between West 61st and 62nd Streets, in the heart of New York City. It is an ideal location for film screenings, lectures, poetry readings, one-person shows, workshops, meetings, seminars, symposia, debates, educational programs, multimedia presentations, press conferences, awards programs, and product launches.

The next movie premiere at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway will be Roads to Memphis, a documentary about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and will be held on April 28, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and interior design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. For more than 50 years, NYIT has been guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity for all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 81,500 students have graduated from NYIT. For more information, visit http://www.nyit.edu.

Briana Samuels
Communications Specialist

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