Monday, April 26, 2010

The Parking Lot Movie

Meghan Eckman | 2010 | 74 min | US

Cool boss-who-doesn't-want-to-be-called-boss Chris Farina has assembled a strange colony of men to work in his Charlottesville, Virginia parking lot. Many are philosophers, though anthropologists are also mined as ideal attendants/ students of human nature. The "insanely overeducated" gang work adjacent a university and its associated bars, wiling away the time between jerk-handling with invention and conversation. That is a recipe for some serious theories about cars, man's subservience, and the nature of renting empty space, man.

Presumably an insider among the attendants' circle of friends, director Meghan Eckman captures the theories and gallivanting from unguarded subjects. They often engage in behaviour and conversation, by turns silly and hateful, that one would think they would make an effort to hide from strangers. Luckily, these men possess wonderfully dry senses of humour that transform the dullest of subject matter into a fun visit with people you would like to know better.

If you are among the scores and scores of people doing too little labour with too much brain power you will relate to the attendants' plight and thoroughly enjoy watching their coping mechanisms. They may have achieved the perfect synthesis of work for profit and "hanging." Hanging is a key concept in this doc. Is this what Bob Dobbs meant when he sought Total Slack? Do these guys have it ALL FIGURED OUT? Maybe. Maybe.

The Parking Lot Movie plays the Hot Docs documentary film festival in Toronto on May 1 and 3, with a special garage rooftop screening on May 7. Check here for the schedule and here for the trailer.

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