Films & Schedules

  • Parc

  • Arnaud des Pallières

109 minutes

Production Company:
Les Films d'Ici
Serge Lalou
Arnaud des Pallières, based on the novel Bullet Park by John Cheever
Production Designer:
François Girard
Jeanne Lapoirie
Arnaud des Pallières
Jean-Pierre Duret, Olivier Mauvezin
Martin Wheeler
Principal Cast: Jean-Marc Barr, Sergi Lopez, Nathalie Richard, Laurent Delbecque, Delphine Chuillot

International Sales Agent:
Films Distribution

Thursday September 1106:00PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1207:30PM VARSITY 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1301:15PM CUMBERLAND 3 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Using John Cheever's novel Bullet Park as his source and inspiration, Arnaud des Pallières fashions a distinctively dystopian world in Parc, one of the most striking and singular films of the year.

Transposing a novel set in American suburbia to contemporary France might seem like a stretch, but in this filmmaker's hands it makes complete sense. Des Pallières casts an acerbic eye on the discontent he observes around him. The film is as intricately assembled as a mosaic, moving effortlessly between stories, time periods and characters, its camera gliding silently through the streets, houses and living rooms of the gated community that provides its setting.

Des Pallières's ambitions are multiple. He literally erases the France we know and replaces it with an imitation of oversized American middle-class mansions, golf courses and swimming pools. It is the perfect backdrop for a group of lost and alienated couples who dabble in achohol and suffer from brand malaise. Des Pallières balances two intersecting stories, resulting in a complex and ultimately disturbing tale. But he also revels in the visual, aural and musical properties of the medium to cast a distinctive spell over his material. Lynch and Antonioni come to mind, but Des Pallières is very much his own filmmaker.

The parallel stories in Parc follow a couple with a dreadfully sad teenaged son who suffers from existential ennui and a strangely disconnected middle-aged man who moves to the neighbourhood with his wife. While the Clous wrestle with their son's lassitude, Paul Marteau suffers the unpredictable mood swings of a self-loathing partner. But there is far more to the film than this simple two-sided narrative. Television broadcasts of the violent riots that paralyzed Paris three summers ago provide a deeper context, and Paul decides to put into action a project suggested to him by his mother, who now despises France and all it stands for. What this unsettling act involves will soon pull the unsuspecting Clous into a bizarre narrative of a grown man trapped under the spell of his overweening parent. Des Pallières's film is like a cancerous X-ray of modern-day France. The prognosis is not good.

Piers Handling

Arnaud des Pallières was born in Paris, France, and studied at l'Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques. While working as an actor and director for the theatre, he made several short films, including La Mémoire d'un ange (89), Avant après (93) and Les Choses rouges (94). He has written and directed the feature films Drancy Avenir (97), Adieu (03) and Parc (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award