By Meredith Deliso
Meet the Orson Welles of indie cinema.
For her debut feature length debut, Greenpoint filmmaker Sophia Takal directed, wrote and starred in the psychodrama “Green,” a nuanced examination of love and jealousy that won a directing award at SXSW this spring.
“Green,” which screens tonight at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of its annual film festival, BAMcinemaFest, follows a young, intellectual Brooklyn couple, Sebastian and Genevieve, who move to the South so Sebastian can blog about sustainable farming. There, they immediately befriend their invasive, simple neighbor, Robin (played endearingly by Takal). As the couple’s relationship hits some bumps, Genevieve fears Robin and Sebastian are up to no good, and she quickly suffers a mental meltdown.
The plot was born out of the director’s own battles with the green goblin.
“I’m really jealous, and it happens in a flash,” said Takal. “I wanted to capture that abrupt shift in someone’s psychology.”
In the ultimate test, Takal had the Brooklyn couple played by her fiancé, Lawrence Michael Levine (who directed last year’s indie comedy, “Gabi on the Roof in July”), and their housemate, Kate Lyn Sheil. Thanks to some realistic conversations about sex, the two have more than a few intimate scenes together in the film.
“It was so much easier to shoot than I expected, though I’d still feel jealous occasionally,” said Takal. “After doing a sex scene, I would just tell Larry to only pay attention to me between takes.”
As they say, it’s not easy being green.
“Green” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [651 Fulton St. near between Rockwell and Ashland places in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], June 22 at 9:15 pm. Tickets $13. Followed by a Q and A with the director. For info, visit www.bam.org.