Open Roof Films: The Parking Lot Movie

8 Aug

Friday night I was invited to the first screening of the new Toronto summer movie series Open Roof Films. Loosely modeled, it seems, on Brooklyn’s Rooftop Films (who have, incidentally, screened a number of my videos), the Friday screening of the documentary The Parking Lot Movie was preceded by a talk with my longtime friend and filmmaker Richie Mehta, and a performance by Little Girls. Appropriately, the event was held in the empty parking lot next to Amsterdam brewery.

Directed by Megan Eckman, the documentary tells the story of a group of past and present so-called ‘inferior intellects’ who found themselves working at the Center Parking Lot near the University of Virginia. The over-educated attendants present themselves as part of an elite club where employment will only be granted if you are a treasured friend or a friend-of-a-friend of another attendant.

The attendants have way too much time on their hands and as a result, as cars come and go from the lot, the attendants have plenty of time to contemplate their situations, the nature of capitalism and classism, and why people driving inside vehicles feel entitled to act like a-holes.

But the dudes don’t just sit around philosophizing or dealing with d-bags all day. They invent games involving traffic cones, turn the cardboard inside their booth into works of art and spray paint concrete poetry on the lot’s traffic barriers.

So yeah… if you have a chance to see this movie, please do. It’s totally inspired me to make sure that my next piece of video art is a documentary.

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