Sophia Takal loves movies. Loves making them and watching them. After the success of 2010’s “Gabi On The Roof in July” which was directed by then boyfriend/current fiancé, Lawrence Michael Levine, the two collaborated on the new “Green”. He acted & produced, she acted & directed. A hit at this past season’s SxSW, the film then was shown at 2011 BAMcinemaFest and a number of other screenings around the States and in Europe. She was among Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces New Faces, and just this week was among Paste Magazine’s 20 Best New FIlmmakers of 2011.
Sophia and Lawrence have become friends and so I must add that I while both “Gabi on The Roof in July” (which is screening with The Filmwax Film Series on January 18th) and “Green” stand on their merit, I am absolutely biased. Lawrence, who directed “Gabi” and who stars in “Green” also plays a central role in the upcoming “Richard’s Wedding” (dir. Onur Tukel) in which I also have a minor role.
Adam Schartoff: “Green” is like an archetypal indie film. It’s really compelling and completely non-commercial film making. How do you suppose it would go over at the multiplex?
Sophia Takal: I don’t really know how anyone will react to this movie. I do feel like audiences must be tired of watching the same movie over and over again which is why it’s getting harder and harder to get people into movie theaters. There’s not that much stuff that feels new or challenging. I think if more films were put in front of them that were more challenging, they’d like them too. It’s just a matter of exposure.
Schartoff: You made an intensely personal film. Who do you think will respond strongest to it?
Lawrence Michael Levine & Sophia Takal at BAMcinemaFest screening of GREEN; photo credit: Adam Schartoff © 2011.
Takal: I think women identify pretty strongly with some of the themes. And I’m not just referring to the hipster women. I’ve had women come up to me at festivals, women in their 60s, who really understand the feelings behind the main character. So, that’s been exciting that more women are identifying with the movie who are not just my age or a similar background.
Schartoff: Were you always aware that this was a film that women in particular were going to strongly respond?
Takal: I forget at what point I began to realize that we were giving a voice to something that lots of women had expressed but I don’t know that I ever set out to do that. I think I wanted to explore something that other women around me were relating to. And from there I started thinking about my obligations to a larger audience. But it started off with just my own experience.
Schartoff: Do you think you achieved creating a message? A personal message?
Takal: I think so. That’s actually one thing I feel really good about. I put it out there and didn’t pretend these feelings didn’t exist. With “Green”, I think I made it okay for women to acknowledge that they have those feelings too. I think that’s one of the great thing about film or art in general, exposing something personal and not feeling so alienated. In this case, exposing something in myself that other people don’t necessarily want to acknowledge. Maybe those things are ugly or unattractive. Read more