Parc Arnaud des Pallieres

Parc Arnaud des Pallieres
Acting as an indictment of the elitist gated community lifestyle, as well as a criticism of the kind of world that would generate a need for conscious retreat and isolation, Parc is occasionally interesting thematically but is mostly an unnecessarily avant-garde snooze-fest with convoluted and often conflicting arguments. Much of it boils down to egocentricity and the need to inflict individual ideals on a world or community unwilling to listen, which is communicated only vaguely through bizarre leaps in narrative and excruciatingly long takes of mundanity.

Living within an upper-class French gated community, Georges Nail (Sergi Lopez) and his wife Helene (Nathalie Richard) spend much of their time focusing on trivialities such as golf and yard work while occasionally self medicating with intoxicants. This serene life is uprooted when their son Toni (Laurent Delbecque) falls into a deep depression, feeling disdain for the lifestyle of his parents, in addition to an outside world that seems entirely indifferent and almost hostile to his individual needs.

Intruding on this idyllic and sterile world, Paul Hammer (Jean-Marc Barr) fights his conflicting needs to both be a part of this lifestyle while simultaneously demonstrating hostility towards the need for exclusivity. He ultimately finds his singular purpose through destroying the constructed serenity via the crucifixion of Toni Nail.

Allusions to religious allegory, annihilation anxieties and the fear of not being included are fairly overt, especially when the story boils Hammer’s struggle down to the inherent desperation involved with the need for acceptance. Granted, there is an implication of paedophilia and bestiality associated with this revelation but the core fundamental values and beliefs exist regardless.

While everything in Parc is riddled with deeper meaning and greater significance, the film is so consciously dense and self-important that very few will feel the need to interpret its heavy-handed symbolism with anything other than a roll of the eyes. (Les Films d'Ici)