Sometimes, I just want to use just a few words in a movie review. Maybe that’ll land me in the Guinness Book of World Records for shortest film review ever. If I could do that for ‘The Parking Lot Movie,’ I’d make my review either, “See this,” or perhaps I’d write the even briefer review…”Awesome!”
‘The Parking Lot Movie,’ from Director Meghan Eckman, and Assistant Director Christopher Hlad is fun, interesting, great documentary about a very special parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia. What? You saw the review was for a movie called ‘The Parking Lot Movie….’ what did you think it was going to be about?
The documentary tells the story of this pay-lot, and the fascinating cast of characters made up of either of former or current parking lot attendants. The attendants are this group of intellectual undergrad/grad students, mostly from the anthropology, sociology, and philosophy departments of the University of Virginia. The film goes about their various times at work, their thoughts on parking, how much a car can tell you about someones personality, and the ups and downs of their jobs.
It really is a remarkable film, because it hits you on so many different levels. The observations and revelations one can have just working in a parking lot is really fascinating, and every single subject was interesting to learn about. From drunk frat dudes vandalizing property, to people arguing over paying 50 cents. My favorite revelation had to be the idea that once someone is in their car, their behavior is completely different. I wouldn’t yell at someone and flip them off normally, but for some reason, if I’m in my car, I now have this power to do or say whatever I’d like, respect is gone after I sit in my car and start my engine.
It really is a unique story that I wouldn’t have even thought existed, and I really love that Eckman was able to recognize the story, and set out to tell it. In the Q&A at IFFBoston 2010, she told the audience that at first, she thought it would be a cool short, “Clerks but in a Parking Lot,” but as she began to film, she saw that there was enough to make a feature. Everything here is interesting, from the philosophies of the people who work at the lot, the owner, and some of the interesting (and at times, VERY uncool) customers of the Corner Parking Lot.
‘The Parking Lot Movie,’ really is a great film that says a lot about the world we live in. It’s funny, its fun, and if you get a chance, I definitely recommend checking it out, and I wish the filmmakers much luck in getting distribution, because they deserve it.
Update 3/31/11: The film is now available for purchase, as well as for viewing on Amazon.com’s on demand video streaming service. Rent the film on Amazon.com