(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
|8:30PM||Live Music by Live Footage|
|11:30PM||After Party at Fontanas (105 Eldridge Street, btwn Grand St. and Broome St.)|
Bad Posture (Malcolm Murray | Albuquerque, NM | 93 min.)
Flo, newly fired from his job, is spending his summer wandering Albuquerque aimlessly with his best friend Trey. Together, they spend their days and nights pursuing Trey’s illicit moneymaking schemes. But when Trey implicates Flo in grand theft auto, Flo finds it difficult to shake his feelings of remorse—and his feelings for the car’s beguiling owner, Marissa. Flo’s journey back to Marissa takes us through the interior life and layered society of a truly singular environment.
Director Malcolm Murray wrote that when asked what the film is about, his canned answer is that Bad Posture is a “’coming of age romance where no one comes of age and the romance is doomed from the start.’ Really though, it’s a love letter to Albuquerque. . . . I’ve always been drawn to the way that directors use Western landscapes to free their characters from having to explain anything about themselves.” Murray used his experience in documentary to craft an elegant but naturalistic portrait: “I tried to keep my camera understated, perhaps like a younger version of myself—quiet, observant, a bit shy,” Murray said. It’s this delicacy that brings loving depth and humanity to an operatic house painting montage, a weed-dealing procedural, a breakdance-infused party sequence. It’s clear the filmmaker is comfortable, and capably capturing authentic actions and feelings.
Working closely with long-time friend, first-time writer/actor Florian Brozek, the team forged a realistic set of archetypical neo-Western troublemakers—“bitch-ass frisky-fingered motherfuckers”—modern guys who stare down rattlesnakes, steal cars, and settle bets with gunfire. Violence and crime are in the air at all times, but the moments of greatest tension are handled with an ethereal grace that is part comic nihilism and part hopeful dream. Potential tragedy turns to dark comedy amidst washes of terror and relief. Flo, meanwhile, floats through the world, sweaty and smoking, broke and hustling, bodily grounded but above the fray—and a dream while drowning reignites his vision quest: to track down the girl who’s car his friend stole.
Flo’s plan unfolds with a drifter’s ease that belies the film’s trigger-taut plot—although framed and spurred at various points by something so simple as the search for a lighter, Bad Posture is driven by a love story. When Marissa makes her magical reappearance, when Flo and his girl walk the party gauntlet together, the thrill is palpable, the quest worthy and fulfilling. Wide-eyed and smiling, she asks what he’s doing at this unexpected event. “I live here,” he says. She smiles, knowingly and appreciatively, acknowledging what this subtly masterful film has so gloriously captured. “So that’s what you’re doing here. Living.”
- Mark Elijah Rosenberg