Anesthesia ()

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Multiple lives intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.


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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Walter Zarrow
Ivan Goris ...
Roger (as Phil Ettinger)
Jeffrey (as Michael K. Williams)
Dr. Laffer
Dr. Barnes
Erika Rose ...
Lisa Benavides-Nelson ...
Dr. Pratt
Mr. Werth
Keith Randolph Smith ...
West Indian Nurse
Medical Examiner
John McNamara ...
Medical Assistant
Christopher McCann ...
Dr. Keller (as Chris McCann)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Student (uncredited)
Actor (uncredited)
Kenneth Kopolovicz ...
Alumni Guest Student (uncredited)
Diner Lady (uncredited)
Casey Roberts ...
Student (uncredited)
Nina Rosenthal ...
Waitress (uncredited)

Directed by

Tim Blake Nelson

Written by

Tim Blake Nelson ... (writer)

Produced by

Julie Buck ... producer
Moshe Cohen ... co-executive producer
Jonathan Gray ... executive producer
Josh Hetzler ... producer
Jessica Hong ... co-producer
Houston King ... executive producer
John Molli ... producer
Matthew Musolino III ... co-executive producer (as Matthew Musolino)
Dennis Mykytyn ... executive producer
Tim Blake Nelson ... producer
Anthony J. Nicholson ... executive producer
Reid Nicholson ... executive producer
Christopher J. Scott ... producer (as Christopher Scott)

Music by

Jeff Danna

Cinematography by

Christina Voros ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Mako Kamitsuna

Editorial Department

Jaime Chapin ... assistant editor
Sara Corrigan ... co-editor
Eyal Dimant ... colorist
Axel Ericson ... digital intermediate editor
Jessica Potter ... assistant editor

Casting By

Avy Kaufman

Production Design by

Dina Goldman

Set Decoration by

Nora Mendis
Katrina Whalen

Costume Design by

Annie Simon

Makeup Department

Nicole Bridgeford ... hair department head
Ariana Rivera ... additional makeup artist
Amy Wadford ... makeup department head

Production Management

Jason M. Birnbaum ... post production manager
Julie Buck ... production manager / unit production manager
Axel Ericson ... post-production supervisor
Josh Hetzler ... post-production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Chris Carroll ... first assistant director
Klarissa Jackson ... first team pa
Keith Marlin ... key second assistant director
Melissa Mugavero ... second second assistant director

Art Department

Chris Braciszewski ... set dresser
Jesse Getchell ... leadman
Veronica Molly Lehmann ... assistant property master
Timothy Cobb Passarella ... construction coordinator
Olivia Peebles ... property master
Steven Jos Phan ... construction coordinator (as Steven Phan)
KJ Rothweiler ... props
Samantha Schaffer ... graphics designer

Sound Department

Andrea Bella ... sound effects editor
Dan Bricker ... sound mixer
Michael Feuser ... dialogue & adr editor
Mark Filip ... foley editor
David Goodheart ... audio production assistant
Dylan Goodwin ... boom operator
Perry Levy ... adr recordist
Eric Milano ... foley artist
Tom Paul ... re-recording mixer / supervising sound editor
Matt Snedecor ... sound effects editor
Steven Tollen ... executive producer: sound
Jeffrey Roy ... adr mixer (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Axel Ericson ... visual effects supervisor
Octavio Rodriguez ... visual effects artist


Steven Cachie Brown ... stunts
Drew Leary ... stunt coordinator
Asa Liebmann ... stunt double: Sam Waterston
David S. Lomax ... stunts
Curtis Lyons ... stunt performer
Malcolm C. Murray ... stunts
Corey Pierno ... stunts
Evan Dane Taylor ... stunts

Camera and Electrical Department

Stratton Bailey ... key grip
John Campbell ... additional electrician
Garrett Cantrell ... grip
Austin Castelo ... electrician
Seamus Chang ... camera operator: "b" camera
Jaime Chapin ... digital imaging technician
Kyle Clark ... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Seth Coleman ... best boy
Jack Cronin ... electric: pa
Eric Fahy ... electrician
Will Gottlieb ... best boy grip
Michael Hauer ... camera b operator/steadicam
Dave Isern ... b-camera operator (as David Isern) / steadicam operator (as David Isern)
Blake Johnson ... camera intern
Jimi Jones ... gaffer
Andrew Juhl ... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Matt Kessler ... best boy
Anna Kooris ... still photographer
Gene Malkin ... grip
Judson Mcalister ... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Gregory Pace ... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Filipp Penson ... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Zach Rubin ... a camera first assistant
Sam Schmitz ... grip
Brandon Sumner ... jib operator
Nicholas Timmons ... additional first assistant camera
David Whitley ... additional grip

Casting Department

Karen E. Etcoff ... extras casting (as Karen Etkoff)
Dann Fink ... adr voice casting
Alan Scott Neal ... casting associate
Leeba Zakharov ... casting associate
Jamie Jacobson ... child extras casting (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Sarah Cogan ... wardrobe supervisor
Alexandra Emmons ... set costumer
Aminah Haddad ... wardrobe supervisor
Cindy Wukmir ... wardrobe

Location Management

Kurt Enger ... location manager
Jaycee Gruszecki ... location scout
Brenden Hubbard ... assistant locations manager
Dave Krause ... location scout
Ryan Piotrowicz ... location consultant
Lyndsey Rodrigues ... locations coordinator
Darcy Trunzo ... locations manager

Music Department

John Fee ... composer: additional music
Bianca Grimshaw ... music supervisor

Other crew

Neil Malik Abdullah ... On set security (as Malik Abdullah)
Esteban Aparicio ... production assistant
Felix Berrios ... production assistant
John Blair ... security: Ms. Stewart
Sara Blechman ... production coordinator
Marion Cecinas ... additional production assistant
Joshua M. Cohen ... assistant: Ms. Buck & Mr. Hetzler (as Joshua Cohen)
Nicole Compas ... production counsel
Eugene Edora ... production assistant
David K. Ginn ... craft service
Allicia Gittens ... production assistant
Olga Goister ... assistant: Mr. Nelson
Kerry Johnson ... assistant production office coordinator
Cory Kadamani ... key set production assistant
Dan Lee ... medical consultant
Cheryl McGinnis ... curator
Katherine Nelson ... Assistant to Ms. Buck & Mr. Hetzler
Martha Nussbaum ... philosophy consultant
Marlene Payton ... Tutor
Emily Pontecorvo ... paperwork pa
Jhon j Puentes ... stand-in
Pamela Rook ... script supervisor
Gary E Schreiber ... tax accountant
Dr. Jonathan Schwartz ... medical consultant
Glen L. Scott ... post-production house supervisor (as Glen Scott)
Maria Shamkalian ... stand-in (as Maria Breyman)
Reginald Spaulding ... On set security
Reuben Stauber ... production accountant
Annie Tompkins ... set intern
Peony Trinh ... graphics
Lauren Vanderschuur ... set production assistant
Peter Westervelt ... background PA
Will Wilder ... Parking Coordinator
Ashley Winter ... medical consultant
Tori Yeager ... production intern
Huma Khan ... director legal post production (uncredited)


Ethan Coen ... special thanks
Joel Coen ... special thanks
James Franco ... special thanks
Sebastian M. Hoskins ... special thanks
Michael Stuhlbarg ... special thanks
Andy Weiss ... special thanks
Michael Weiss ... special thanks

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

Philosophy professor Walter Zarrow is wounded during a mugging. In an effort to escape he rings buzzers indiscriminately, waking Sam, a middle aged father of two having an affair in the city. Sam reluctantly answers Zarrow's pleas, and Zarrow loses consciousness in his arms. Through an exploration of why these men, along with the mugger, and an addict named Joe, come together, we explore New York City. The experience of Zarrow, Sam, Joe and Zarrow's assailant ripple quickly out to include the connected lives of a housewife struggling with alcoholism, a stoner teen desperate to lose his virginity, a brilliant but failed writer fighting addiction, two parents confronting the prospect of terminal illness, and a brilliant grad student who wounds herself to feel alive. Written by Anonymous

Plot Keywords
Taglines Who we don't know can save us See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Crímenes y virtudes (Argentina)
  • Anestezi (Turkey, Turkish title)
  • Анестезия (Bulgaria, Bulgarian title)
  • Anestesia (Mexico)
  • Анестезия (Russia)
  • See more »
  • 90 min
Aspect Ratio
Filming Locations

Box Office

Opening Weekend United States $6,747, 10 Jan 2016

Did You Know?

Trivia The film wasn't announced by trade publications until after college students spotted Kristen Stewart filming on their campus in New York City. See more »
Movie Connections Referenced in Kristen Stewart/Michael Shannon/Cage the Elephant (2016). See more »
Soundtracks Tenderly See more »
Quotes Prof. Walter Zarrow: But then, what do all these thinkers we've examined this semester have in common? If we truly explore to find a common thread? At the outset of a century that would constitute the bloodiest in human history. Along with scientific and technological advancements that would literally make us like Gods. Even as we began to dismantle the very meaning of God. They ask, what is a life? Does to live any longer have a how? Does it any longer have a why? Against a backdrop of industrialization, people will contend with alienation, dislocation, population on a mass scale, and murder on a mass scale. They'll consider the constraints of truth. Whether metaphor or paradigm, with many concluding actual truth has never existed. A nexus in the great human saga, when we dared to trade the organizing bliss, of good and evil, right and wrong, as determined by a creator for other opiates: communism, socialism, capitalism, psychology, technology, any learnable system to replace what had begun to evaporate: the 20th century. My own. But also the one into which each of you was born. For many, an era of hope liberation, possibility. For others of abandonment and despair. A most human century in which we begin really to understand that Nietzsche was right: we are beautifully, finally, achingly, alone. In this void, philosophy at its worst becomes self-reflective, linguistic, semantic, relativism having rendered any discussion of right and wrong, good and evil, to be the quaint concerns of another age. At its most provocative, it asks other questions. Those concerned with locating our stranded selves, when meaning seems to have died, nothing less, in short, then 'why do we live at all?' and 'what makes us who we are?' They ask, 'what now?' And we're still asking it. What will fortify us as another century, your century, commences? Do we abandon finally the search for truths that seem ever more elusive, even silly to some? The ethical? The moral? The good? Principles that by definition can never be prove when so much now can be proved? Or is all this finally and forever pointless? Are we done? We can destroy cities, alter the planet irreversibly, speak instantaneously face-to-face from across the globe, create life where there was to be none, even while intoxicating ourselves with it all. And yet, how do we still seek purpose? And where do we hope to find it if we're so busy convincing ourselves there needn't be any? And so we wander, eyes closed to the dark, while technology, science, medicine and godlessness blaze illusions around us, with less to guide us now than ever, seemingly omnipotent, but more human and just as afraid. These quandaries do not end with this course in a week from today. They begin. And I certainly haven't taught these writers for 30 years just so you can drop references to existential thinkers and their antecedents at dinner parties. The crowd is untruth. In an era darkened by the false shade of imperviousness, you and those who pause to question, carry the light. It's been a wonderful 34 years. Let's not be strangers, either to one another, or more importantly, to everything we've learned from one another. May your best years be yet to come. And so for us all.
[all applauding]
Prof. Walter Zarrow: [all cheering] Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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