IFC Films Is Bringing Bruno Podalydès’ Park Benches To Theaters And On-Demand In March 2011

Back in 2009, Bruno Podalydès finished his film Park Benches (or in French: Bancs Publics). Based on the fact that I can’t seem to find any reviews or news stories about the film, I’m going to assume that very few have seen this film in the states since it’s release.

I haven’t heard anything about the film until today when IFC added a new page, announcing that they’ll be distributing the film through their on-demand options on March 9th, and in theaters on the 11th.

Based on the description of the film, and the few reviews available on IMDB and other sites online, I know that the film does feature Mathieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve who can be seen together recently in Criterion’s release of A Christmas Tale (check out our recent episode, in which we discuss the film with David Blakeslee).

While the film is the third in a trilogy, I have a feeling that we won’t have to worry too much about seeing the first two films to understand what’s going on in this film. The description from IFC Film’s website:

With over 86 speaking parts, Podalydès has assembled an all-star, ensemble cast including Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, and Chiara Mastroianni in this film about the everyday lives of Parisians living in the wealthy suburb of Versailles. Park Benches is a witty, incisive examination of contemporary France and urban alienation that was a huge success on its theatrical release in France. The film is the final entry in Podalydès’ “Versailles Trilogy,” which also includes A Night in Versailles and Only God Sees Me. Denis Podalydès plays the protagonist in all three films, but each stands on its own and can be seen without being familiar with the others.

I’ll embed some video clips (including the ones with Amalric and Deneuve) below, although you’ll need to speak French to understand them. Head over to the film’s website (again, all in French) to find more goodies from the film. I’m sure IFC will upload an English subtitled trailer within the coming weeks, to help promote the film.

Have you seen Park Benches? What are your thoughts on this upcoming release? Could this be a potential Criterion Collection candidate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Do you know where this is opening in theaters? I have tried to look for this, and have not seen any listings. It was shown at BAM in NY as part of a festival in a showing a year or two ago.

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