November 4th, 2002


3 1/2 x 5 or 4 x 6? Glossy or Matte? Customer or Psycho?

So I just got back from seeing an matinee of "One Hour Photo" and I thought it was amazing.*

First off, I should mention that I worked in a one hour photo lab for many years. I have many horrible stories to tell (Here’s one). And I have to say, they captured a large part of it in the movie. Though the above entry mentions some of my least favorite customers, OHP manages to depict the insurance agents, the pet people and the amateur porn guys pretty well. In addition, I got chills when seeing some of the equipment they used which I haven’t seen since I quit (the little tape thing that gets the leader of film out of the canister etc.). I winced when Robin Williams cut through a negative by accident.

But the what the first 2/3 of the film does amazingly well is depict the condition of retail work in our modern post-industrial society. Until the predictable and dumb ending, it’s actually a big budget movie about class.

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*Keep in mind that I have a very specific way of looking at big budget Hollywood movies. I ignore the last 15 minutes to half hour. That’s when the main point is to recuperate any unpleasant messages that they’ve set up in the previous hour and a half and make sure that the idea of Family and Capitalism are triumphant. I find that assuming that going in makes me less disappointed and lets me appreciate the good bits. "One Hour Photo" is no exception to this rule.