Haiku Tunnel

Josh Kornbluth‘s film (with his brother Jacob) Haiku Tunnel (2001) is basically a shaggy-dog story about the horrors of office work, told with self-reflexive wit and self-deprecating Jewish humor. It started out, in fact, as a comic monologue, but its translation into a movie went quite well. You have all these absurd situations, both those imposed by the nature of the workplace (a law firm) and those that result from Josh’s own out-of-control (but endearing) neuroses. (I refer to the fictional “Josh Kornbluth,” of course, not to the person of the same name who wrote, directed, and starred in the film). It’s always nice to see a low-budget, independent film like this, unpretentious but smart and on the money with what it is trying to do. Not to mention that it’s shot in San Francisco, and my old friend (from elementary school!) Joshua Raoul Brody has a small role. Extra points for including, briefly, stuff about heterosexual Jewish men’s lusting after WASP women (on the one hand) and black women (on the other). (A double subject that was treated much more extensively, but also much less interestingly, in Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights).

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