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Frozen in Time: Indie Film "Movement + Location" Recasts Brooklyn Through Sci-Fi

New York City exists in perpetuity on screen

Movement + Location director Alexis Boling, in a section of Prospect Park that figures in the film.

New York City exists in perpetuity on screen. People change, but film and television backdrops – a coffee shop, public park, cramped apartment – those places are more or less rooted in time. The new film Movement + Location from Bed-Stuy husband-and-wife team Alexis and Bodine Boling turns that peculiarly New York sense of stasis on its head with a bemusing premise.

In a city where most people tend to come from somewhere else, what if that place was fixed firmly in the future – say 300 years – as opposed to say Tampa (a place referenced humorously in the film’s plot). Set in the dead of winter, the film follows Kim Getty, an “immigrant” from the future with a Brooklyn existence not much different from present-day folk: working for a homelessness prevention non-profit and sharing an apartment with a clueless roommate (wryly played by Anna Margaret Hollyman).

The discovery of a fellow time refugee in the homeless teenager Rachel complicates Kim’s quest to give as little away about herself as possible, in the sort of “hijinks ensue” kind of way that a movie with time travel as a major plot device might. Shot in a very naturalistic style, the film’s pacing, writing and score come together to convey a story that’s hauntingly relatable in satirizing what one sacrifices to live in Gotham City, and how the relationships we form here can mean a great deal – or not much at all — depending on the circumstances.

“We call it ‘casual science fiction,’ because there’s no special effects, no over-the-top clichés” says the film’s director Alexis Boling. “It’s very much about identity, vulnerability, having to reinvent yourself and forge your identity in a new place.”

A. Boling 4

Conceived by scriptwriting partner Bodine over 17 different revisions, the film was crowdfunded by Seed + Spark and shot over 18 days in the winter of 2013, when it’s easier to get cast and crew together.

Bodine (in an alternately wistful and unsentimental performance) doubles as the film’s lead actor, and Alexis notes that while directing your partner can be difficult, it was more due to the real-world filmmaking challenges of working 18-hour days and shoveling snow to clear parking than anything else.

“There’s so much stress and pressure [in shooting a film] that you can’t release that on other people,” says Boling. “So you just kind of enter this execution mode that’s almost like a military campaign where you’re just very intensely focused on this world.”

Movement + Location debuts tonight at Cinema Village at 22 East 12th Street and runs through next Thursday 9/24. Bushwick Daily readers get a $4 discount off of tickets if they use the code "BUSHWICKDAILY" to buy tickets. 7 PM screenings this weekend will feature director Alexis Boling; writer Bodine Boling and various cast and crew.

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