At night, on a rural road, a man escapes by car. He hides in an isolated house near the forest. Soon he’ll discover that the threat he tries to run away is just there in the dark and waits for his confessions.
Bataille intime (The intimate battle) is a story of encounters. Everything started with Roland Topor and Jean Michel Ribes. Two important figures of drama worked together on the writing of five hilarious and biting sketches. One of these stories “bataille intime” inspires two friends Sylvain Groud and Bruno Bayeux creating a choreographical theatre piece where two men tear apart under the light of a microscope. After I saw the stage work it was my turn to recreate a film adapting this piece, with these two men united by the same movement and the same secret.
My first preoccupation was how to integrate the dance into the storytelling and I asked myself how come that this two fighting men dance in an isolated house?
Following this fine thread I got to more stakes, new doors opened to new aspects of this story. Are our main figures brothers, fugitive gangsters, lovers or two ghosts confronted at the edge of reality? This intentional indecision also nourishes the mystery of their meeting and allows the movie to navigate on the borders of genres.
This project got possible for the encounter with a place. The screenplay was only a draft when I told a friend about the ideal location of the story. I dreamt of huge empty rooms, of a house, an isolated hideout lost somewhere in the countryside. She smiled, she knows a place like that: the Domain La Tache, a 200-year-old family house isolated in the countryside of Charente. This house and his surrounding nature influenced the writing of the script presenting him his colours and his lights.
Sylvain Groud – dancer / choreographer
Bruno BAYEUX – acteur
Olivier Spiro – director
Odile Kerkaert – executif director
Audrey Guimard – production designer
Baptiste Brousse - director of photography
Xavier Bru – gaffer
Jean-Pierre Fougères - sound engineer
Séverine Ratier – sound mixer
Alexandre Lelaure – color grader
Anaïs Spiro – artistic advisor / script