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Reminiscent of John Sayles‘ The Brother from Another Planet, Alexis Boling‘s low-budget sci-fi drama uses its high concept — of time travelers from the future landing in modern-day Brooklyn — to make incisive observations about relationships and identity. Scripted by and starring the director’s wife Bodine Boling, Movement and Location is an intriguing, offbeat surprise that, while unlikely to find commercial success, serves as an excellent calling card for its creative duo.
Making good use of its Brooklyn locations, the film revolves around 30-year-old Kim (Boling) who, for reasons left unexplained, has arrived in Brooklyn from 400 years in the future, in effect making her an illegal immigrant. She’s carved out a life for herself, working for a homeless outreach organization and sharing an apartment with her roommate (Ana Margaret Hollyman) who’s frequently puzzled by Kim’s detached strangeness.
Kim’s life gets shaken up with the arrival of the teenage Rachel (Catherine Missal), a presumed runaway who Kim soon deduces is a fellow time traveler. After a pair of beat cops asks her and her colleague (Haile Owusu) to help the young girl, Kim secretly lets Rachel move in while simultaneously beginning a relationship with one of the cops, Rob (Brendan Griffin), that reawakens her emotional and sexual life.
The feisty new arrival is intent on shaking things up. “I want to tell the world why we’re here,” she announces to Kim, who replies, “I really wish you weren’t 15.”
Kim’s delicate juggling act becomes even more difficult when Rachel begins hanging out with a middle-aged homeless man, Paul (David Andrew MacDonald), who, in one of the screenplay’s more blatant contrivances, turns out to have a previous connection to Kim.
Giving short shrift to its science fiction angle — we never learn much about the society Kim and her cohorts come from, or why they were sent to the past — the film is slightly too low-key and slow-paced. But it features many resonant moments, largely supplied by Boling’s affecting performance as the futuristic woman who tentatively but joyfully embraces an emotional and physical connection in her new home.
And there are some very funny moments too, such as when the trio from the future goes out for their first meal in a restaurant together, with Paul asking, “Wasn’t bacon a nice surprise?”
It was, and so is this film.
Read More Oscars: Lebanon Selects ‘Void’ for Foreign-Language CategoryProduction: Harmonium
Cast: Bodine Boling, Catherine Missal, Brendan Griffin, David Andrew MacDonald,
Anna Margaret Hollyman, Haile Owusu, John Dapolito
Director/director of photography: Alexis Boling
Screenwriter/editor: Bodine Boling
Producers: Alexis Boling, Bodine Boling, Serena Hudson
Production designer: Sara Walsh
Costume designer: Lindsay Kleinman
Composer: Dan Tepfer
Not rated, 93 min.
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