On this week’s episode of our podcast The Close-Up, director Rodney Ascher discusses his new film The Nightmare, which opened here at the Film Society of Lincoln Center last Friday. 

For his highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Room 237, Ascher turned his attention to the terrifying subject of sleep paralysis. In the film, he interviews eight people who suffer from the affliction and cross-cuts their interviews with vivid reenactments of the intense experiences they describe, evoking the overwhelming fear that consumes them. The film opened here last Friday and is now playing daily. On opening night, while a packed house enjoyed the film, we sat down with the director in our green room to discuss it. The conversation started with the director’s own experience with sleep paralysis, and from there it touched on subjects like artifice, visual influences, and the supernatural.

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Photos of Rodney Ascher by Sean Mann.