Paper or Plastic? That is the question.

April 6, 2009

Being a busy college student, I hardly ever do the unnecessary 100+ page readings my professors assign me. (That’s a lie, I’m OCD and do all my work but it seemed like a good opening sentence).

Anyway, despite my tedious work habits, I continue to do poorly on my not-so-pop quizzes in my Introduction to Film Class.

Yes, I know about the quizzes in advance. I know that there will be 5 questions, 2 based on our screening for the week and 3 based on our reading. But no, Professor Anonymous, I don’t remember what was on line 13 on page 54, so STOP ASKING SO MANY GOD DAMN SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

As you can see, these quizzes are far from easy. Consequently, I’ve failed *GASP* (Me? Fail? Don’t tell sportsdoc!!!) many of them.

Luckily, my teacher sent us this email:

“So I was noticing that these last quiz scores were quite bad in general.  I’m attributing this to spring break hangover — perhaps you forgot to read or takes notes on the movie because your hearts and minds were still in some distant, sunny locale.

Anyway, I’ve decided to give you a chance to improve your quiz score a little bit.  The Wisconsin Film Festival is next weekend.  Attend a movie at the festival and write a 2 page (double-spaced, 12 font) analysis of the film that talks about its use of style and/or narration.  Depending on the quality of your analysis, you can get up to 3 extra quiz points (meaning you will get credit for 3 incorrect answers).  Please staple your film ticket to your paper, so we know you actually saw the movie.  Turn in your paper in section on April 8.”

Ughhh, I was *SO* annoyed. I DO the readings, I GO to the screenings, I just can’t seem to remember what color shirt the extra in the restaurant scene was wearing. So, unfortunately, I had to wake up at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning and attend a Wisconsin Film Festival movie.

I really didn’t care which movie I saw – I just wanted it to be short, sweet, and easy to write about. I went with one of my close friends who chose for me – Paper or Plastic

Paper or plastic. What does that remind you of? Yep, you got it. The grocery store. I thought to myself – this would be so funny if it was about a grocery store. To my surprise, it was. Even better – it was about The Best Bagger Competition, a competition that finds the best grocery bagger in the country.

So, it sounds lame? Yea…that’s what I thought too…until I was biting my nails and sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to see who won. Literally, I haven’t been that on edge since…I don’t know, Scream or My Dog Skip.

Seriously, this movie was incredible. It was witty, it was engaging, and not to mention hilarious. Oh, and it also taught me many new things .

In fact, things I learned during the movie:

1. Bread should only be packaged horizontally in a bag.

2. “Crunchies” – chips, snack foods, etc. should always go on top. No exceptions!

3. There are grocery bagging trainers.

4. Meat, dairy, fruits and vegetable should all be packaged separately.

5. All grocery bags should be the same weight – separate items accordingly!

See? How interesting. Things you would never know unless you failed a pop quiz (pop quizzes) and needed some extra credit.

Now, it’s doubtful that this movie will hit mainstream movie theaters. So, my only hint of advice is – if there happens to be a film festival rolling through town and this movie is playing, see it. You won’t be disappointed.

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2 Responses to “ Paper or Plastic? That is the question. ”

  1. revisingproust on April 6, 2009 at 1:05 am

    i know what your film professor does in his or her spare time: Scene It (Warning: if you click on link, you’ll head straight to the demo version).

    Seems like he or she likes the “My Play” or “All Play” categories just a little too much. (“In the movie clip, there was a clock on the wall. To what number was the minute hand pointing?”)

    I *hate* those questions.

    I’m so mad that I had dog sitting duty the same week as the Philadelphia CineFest. There were quite a few movies (eh hem, films) that I wanted to see. (OCD must run in the family because I read the brochure & dog-eared the pages.)

    I feel like I should insert a cow-loving Wisconsin joke here because I’m almost positive that “Paper or Plastic” was not shown at Philly’s film festival.


    However, according to this review (PDF), “Kim, from the Philadelphia region, is part of a group of baggers from the
    Genuardi chain of stores who call themselves the Flamingirls.”

    Where’s the Philly pride?

    Fuck pretentious East Coasters.

    Big ups to the state of cheese.

  2. stereocache on April 8, 2009 at 2:24 am

    This looks awesome. I’ve wanted to witness one of these since i heard that competitions existed from one of the baggers at Trader Joe’s when I was in L.A. Thanks for the tip.

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