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By James Sweeney | September 20, 2000

When a shopper returns to his parking place in a covered lot, he finds that someone has blocked him in with their mammoth vehicle and has left an apologetic note promising to be back in a few minutes. A pantomime of impatience ensues and when the inconsiderate S.U.V. S.O.B. does return, he must face the wrath of a man who has had far too much time to sit around and brood, pondering the greater implications of the stranger’s actions and what kind of person he might be.
The first part of the film setting up the predicament proceeds without dialog. The situation is so universally understood that no words are necessary, nor would they be sufficient, to describe the frustration and dangerous levels of hate inherent in this scenario. The challenge was to provide dialog for the inevitable confrontation that would do justice to this rage and entertain at the same time.
As for the rest of the film, it’s official. “Kevin Smith dialog” is now an accepted cinematic device for independent film. The same kind of rapid, loquacious, philosophical debate that held us spellbound in “Clerks” is popping up everywhere, and is used to reasonable effect here. The argument that takes place between the parking lot blocker and the blockee is awash in overreaching statements about the state of humanity and the failure of human relations. I must admit that the delivery style, though shamelessly borrowed, works almost as well here as it did in the Quick Stop. I’m much wearier of “Arnold Schwarzenegger dialog” which started out as clever, peppery one-liners and devolved into the idiotic drivel factor that permeates most action film scripts today.
Regardless of the written approach, the script for “Parking” is smart and reasonably funny. It’s not completely believable, but who knows, maybe there are people who would treat a parking lot confrontation like an audition for a Tennessee Williams play. In any case “Parking” is well-written and cast. Paul Lieber and Erich Anderson, who play the bickerers, really put a lot of passion into their schlemiel/schlimazel act, and their performances make the short film worth watching.

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