The Parking Lot Movie

Over the course of writing for this site I’ve decided to watch some bizarre films. I’ve seen one about film ratings, one where instead of waving people flip the middle finger, hell, I’ve even watched one about a homicidal tire, but I never imagined myself freely choosing to watch a movie about a parking lot and its attendants. I also never imagined it would be better than two of the three above*!


Aptly named, The Parking Lot Movie, dives into the existential depths of parking lot attendants at the corner parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s a bunch of overeducated men simply waiting out their days occasionally taking money from leaving customers, and yet so much more.

There is something inherently wrong about the way our society views service jobs. These employees are presumed to be moronic and incapable of serving a higher purpose in society by the pretentious customers who utilize the services rendered. This social fallacy is not lost on these individuals as they smartly describe the highly obnoxious people they deal with day in and day out.

As the manager mentions, parking lots are exempt from other consumer-driven rules, such as the customer always being right. In a parking lot, the attendants are supreme leaders and control everything about where you park – even how much you pay if you’re too impatient. We are given a glimpse into the underbelly of seemingly boring jobs as the highly self-aware attendants describe their easy jobs.

You’d think it would never get difficult, but occupying your time during the dull periods and chasing after drunken imbeciles as they flee without paying can become a taxing endeavor. From flip cone to passive-aggressively applying the emergency brake in customers’ vehicles, each attendant has their minor quirks that help them get through the day. The corner parking lot is seen as an exclusive club by the employees with a remarkable subculture in their little shack.

Obviously a film about a parking lot will have its slow moments, but at barely over seventy minutes, the film ends at just the right moment without trying to achieve too much. Listening to the philosophy and anthropology graduate students gets as tiresome as you’d imagine it would in reality, but enough attendants are interviewed to counteract the burden that would normally result. The Parking Lot Movie is not one that you necessarily have to finish to enjoy, but like a day at work, it is fun to see how the time is used.

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