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Indie director Alexis Boling on Brooklyn as a muse, and why Park Slope wasn't for him

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Alexis Boling is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, musician, and founder of production company Harmonium Films. He has directed and independently produced five feature films, including the science fiction thriller Movement and Location (available now on iTunes and Verizon FiOS On Demand).

The film, which takes place almost entirely in Brooklyn, was shown at  Cinema Village in September (where Boling and his wife and co-filmmaker Bodine Boling had their first date 12 years ago). It premiered at the Brooklyn Film Fest in 2014, and won the Audience Award and Best Screenplay. Movement and Location was filmed over 18 days in February 2013, almost entirely in Brooklyn, including spots like Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Boling is currently in development on two documentaries. He lives with his wife, who stars in the film, in a brownstone.

1.  What neighborhood do you live in?

Bedford-Stuyvesant, since 2007. 

2. Is this your dream neighborhood or is there someplace else in NYC you’d prefer to settle in?

In the past I lived in Williamsburg, Park Slope and Sunset Park. Bed-Stuy is by far my favorite neighborhood. It feels like home—people say hello and I know my neighbors. The architecture is stunning. Beautiful old trees line the streets and there are lightning bugs in the backyard during summertime. 

3. Do you own or rent?


4. How’d you find it?

I was working on a documentary about a public school in the neighborhood for the better part of a year. At lunch sometimes I would go on walks in the neighborhood and I fell in love with it.

5. What’s the one thing you love the most about it?

The feeling of community.  

6. If there’s one thing you could change about your apartment, what would it be?   

The building is from the late 1800s so during the winter, it can be a challenge to keep warm in an efficient way.  

7. In three words, describe the first apartment you've ever lived in.

Bedroom was windowless. 

8. Do you prefer old NYC or this NYC? 

I moved to the city in 2004, so I definitely missed out on true old NYC. But being able to live in New York at any time is a wonderful thing.  

9. Tell us about the favorite apartment you’ve ever had.

My favorite is where I live now. There's an amazing history and spirit to the place. I shot a few scenes of my feature film Movement and Location here, which was fun, and the whole movie is really kind of a love letter to Brooklyn.

10. And the worst?

I lived in Park Slope for one year. The apartment was beautiful but I felt no connection to the neighborhood.

11. Name one NYC service you couldn’t live without.

Waste management. 

12. What's your favorite spot in the city?

Saraghina is a fantastic Italian restaurant in Bed-Stuy. Great pizza, backyard and they make their own pasta. My wife and I go often.

13. Which would you rather: Brooklyn brownstone or a penthouse in a shiny, new condo?

Brooklyn brownstone all the way.

14. If you could live elsewhere, where would it be?

I grew up in the South and my mom is French, so either Athens, GA or Paris, France. But it's hard to imagine living anywhere other than Brooklyn. 

15. Any advice for a recent New York transplant?

There's so much going on, which can feel overwhelming. So many shows and events and everything moves fast. But that's there when you want it—it's perfectly fine to stay home and chill out sometimes. 


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