Temp Worker Goes Hollywood – Haiku Tunnel

Temp Worker Goes Hollywood – Haiku Tunnel – Review

Janet Wiscombe

Don’t let the movie’s off beat title throw you. Haiku Tunnel is not only a tour de force of the American workplace. It’s an exquisitely wacky comedy about- you’ll never guess-a lifelong temp who works at a corporate law firm.

It’s a must-see for HR professionals, a sly, raucous tale of our time that might have been called Psychotherapy Benefits Tempt Temp. Job Drudge-Slave Hell or perhaps When the White-Out Hits the Fan.

“Haiku Tunnel is a film about tempness versus permness, both in the workplace and in life,” says director Josh Kornbluth, who wrote the script with his younger brother, Jacob. Much of the material in the movie came directly from Josh’s experience as a temp.

During a recent interview, the 42-year-old comic reflected on the American workplace and his impressions of human resources. “HR people always seem to interface with both the boss people and the peasants, but they seem closer in status to the peasants,” he said. “They tend to have a weird look in their eyes-like they are trying to weed people out. They tend to be frustrated parents. I always got along with them because of my non-psychotic status. And I could type stuff.”

The satire is about an aspiring novelist who supports himself as a temporary worker. Josh, who plays himself, thrives in an undemanding world of inanities and mind-numbing tasks. But when it’s decided at one firm–Schuyler & Mitchell (“S&M”)-that lie’s good enough to “go perm,” an existential crisis sets in.

The lovable Josh is nearly paralyzed with job anxiety and the awful realities of his failed relationships. The movie centers on a menacing and critically important stack of letters that he can’t seem to get in the mail. As his secretarial screw-ups accumulate, he becomes trapped by psychological escapes and outrageous alibis and lies.

“I’d say the American workplace is a superficially low-energy, dull place,” he said. ‘But underneath, it’s seething with dreams, ambitions, and office lust”

The independent feature film, which was showcased at the Sundance Film Festival, was released on September 14. Despite its quirky title, Haiku Tunnel is a must-see. Another plus: You will never again look at your temp, your printer, or your envelope moistener in quite the same way.

COPYRIGHT 2001 ACC Communications Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group