With Christmas fast approaching, and on the anniversary of the release of Black Christmas, today is the perfect day to look back on the career of filmmaker Sophia Takal and add Black Christmas to your holiday watch list.
Sophia Takal is an American filmmaker and actor known for her fresh and compelling performances, and for her feminist perspective on many film genres, but especially horror. After graduating from Barnard College, Sophia’s acting career began to blossom in the mid-2000s. One of her early notable roles was Gabi on the Roof in July (2010), in which she played a young post-grad and artist who decides to spend a summer on her family’s rooftop in Brooklyn. Sophia led the film, which became known for its authentic feel, with boldness and charm, launching herself into a successful career from the jump.
Sophia’s first directorial venture came in 2011 with Green, which she wrote, directed, and also starred in. The film explores the complexities of an open relationship between a married couple, played by Sophia and her husband, Lawrence Michael Levine. The film offers a nuanced portrayal of love, and especially of a particular type of relationship not often represented on-screen. The real-life chemistry and dynamic between Sophia and Lawrence offered a depiction of a couple almost unparalleled in its raw authenticity.
A turning point in Sophia’s career came with her involvement in the 2019 remake of the classic horror film Black Christmas. Directing, producing, and starring in this feminist reimagining marked Sophia’s commitment not only to exploring new genres but also to using her platform to address societal issues. Black Christmas follows a group of sorority sisters who must confront a mysterious stalker during the holiday season. Sophia’s vision for the film was to infuse it with a strong feminist message, challenging traditional horror tropes and exploring themes of sisterhood and empowerment.
If you and your own sisters are together for the holiday season, I encourage you all to get fired up for what’s to come in 2020 by going to see this funny, freaky, and socially conscious film.
In a review of the film, FF2 contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto said, “If you and your own sisters are together for the holiday season, I encourage you all to get fired up for what’s to come in 2020 by going to see this funny, freaky, and socially conscious film.” Even in 2024, this message could not be more true.
Over the past few years, Sophia has gone on to direct episodes of some of the hottest new television series, including the new Gossip Girl, and The Summer I Turned Pretty.
Sophia has performed in and created multiple independent films which have come to be associated with the “mumblecore” movement, a subgenre of independent film characterized by its naturalistic acting and dialogue, often revolving around the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s. Sophia’s knack for embodying and creating characters that feel truly natural and real have made her a strong voice in this movement. With her unique perspective and ability to stay true to herself and to humanity throughout her career, Sophia has had a strong impact in the world of indie films.
© Julia Lasker (12/13/2023) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Watch Black Christmas here.
Watch Green here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured photo: Imogen Poots in the film BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019), directed and co-written by Sophia Takal. Photo Credit: © Universal Pictures – Blumhouse Productions – Divide/Conquer. TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: 2A78R2H
Bottom photo: Sophia Takal attends the screening of BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019) at Regal L.A. LIVE on December 05, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Photo Credit: Lionel Hahn / Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo. Image ID: 2DETJWM