(above New Design High School)
Lower East Side
350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Street-Essex Street; B, D, Q to Grand Street
|11:30PM||After Party at Fontanas (105 Eldridge St., btwn Grand St. and Broome St.)|
Green (Sophia Takal | Brooklyn, NY | 72 min.)
Brooklyn-based director Sophia Takal writes, directs and stars in this mesmerizing debut feature, about a young literary couple from the city whose relationship gets bumpy during a trip to the countryside. Garrulous journalist Sebastian (Lawrence Michael Levine) takes girlfriend Genevieve (Kate Lyn Sheil, star of Joe Swanberg’s Silver Bullets) on a trip to a country house he has rented while working on a story about agriculture. Once there, the duo runs into the enigmatic Robin (Takal), an energetic woman with a sweet southern sensibility. Her surface naivete, however, masks a much more perceptive ability to figure out the tension between the couple, and she quickly befriends both of them--or so it seems. While Sebastien and Genevieve struggle with problems in the bedroom, Genevieve’s imagination runs wild, and she begins to suspect that Sebastien and Robin have fallen for each other.
Levine and Takal previously co-starred in the Brooklyn-set comedy Gabi on the Roof in July, and while Green contains similarly shrewd urban characters, it places them in remarkably different terrain. Gradually drawing out the suspense of this ambiguous love triangle, Takal smartly defies the conventions of American DIY comedies with assured cinematic language that transcends its characters naturalistic exchanges. You’ll find no sloppy camerawork and aimless improvisation here, as Takal maintains a close focus on her story and keeps it boldly open-ended. Images speak louder than words, as virtually all of Green unfolds in magnificent, forest-covered vistas that endow it with a haunting storybook feel.
Takal derives the majority of the movie’s power from the underlying tension between the two women. A nuanced study of the madness that jealousy can inflict on the human mind, Green emphasizes Genevieve’s growing distrust for Robin’s cheery facade. The motives of this alluring stranger from the woods are left intentionally ambiguous, allowing viewers to put the pieces together. The result is supremely memorable tale of paranoia and miscommunication.
Winner of the Chicken & Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award at the South by the Southwest Film Festival.
- Eric Kohn