Exploding onto the independent scene, Everett Lewis’s Parking Lots has an urgency and a momentum that years ago ushered in the films of the French New Wave. Emotionally complex, yet framed within a simple narrative, the story explores the relationship between the adolescent Chris, a car thief, and his older brother Lance, a drug dealer and gun runner, who are struggling to rise above the fringe, fast-lane world which surrounds them. As in the films of Robert Bresson, Lewis blends rich visualization with tough realism, created by an excellent cast of primarily nonprofessionals. The result is a numbingly accurate portrait.
Cinema vérité this film is not, although its formal construction makes it seem so. This is a wildly imaginative tour de force. A creative sound design and an incredibly unnerving camera by Hisham Abed shape the imagery of Parking Lots, lending it a refreshing cinematic passion. This film is a savage portrait of urban adolescence, with its times of fear and emptiness, and its brief moments of exuberance. As Lance says: “If Joseph Conrad were to write Heart of Darkness today, he would set it in the parking lot of a high school in the San Fernando Valley.” –Sundance Film Festival