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Production book TARO .pdf

Nom original: Production book - TARO.pdf

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A film by


















At 16, Marc is an introvert
teenager in search for love and
freedom. He has always been
fond of his best friend Taro.
Just like a big brother, Taro
always makes him discover
new things. One day, Taro
comes to pick up his friend on
his father’s motorcycle. They
head for a squat and think
they are about to spend a nice
evening... Marc doesn’t know
yet that his life is going to
change that very night.

Once in the squat, Taro and
Marc discover a strange world
and make crazy encounters.
When Taro disappears with
the mysterious and dangerous
Camille, Marc’s heart compels
him to search for the one he
loves... Will he manage to
save his friend and... become



Last January’s tragedy in Charlie
Hebdo seems to have made the
political class realize that hope
can come from culture, freedom
and education. What is left of this
spirit now? How will the youth of
our “blue like an orange” planet
- quoting Paul Eluard - perceive
its mission to perpetuate a message of peace and love? Will the
young generation be able to develop a critical sense and invent
its own destiny? Will citizens be
able to bet on culture rather than
ignorance, future rather than
immobility, sharing rather than
keeping? “Becoming who I am”,
is it still possible in a world where
people flee their own responsibilities, where we “consume” the
Other? I want to believe in it, because I believe in Mankind, in its
infinite resources.

Over 3 years ago, I imagined
“Taro”, a young and timeless
character, an 18-year-old boy
who comes from far away. He comes from Penjab, but could have
come from anywhere. He is a
stranger, an alien who has to live
in a world where he doesn’t belong in the first place – but where
he feels at home somehow. Taro
is an ideal being. We all have inside ourselves a heroic “Taro”
and a shy, vulnerable “Marc”
looking for his own self.

Remus and Romulus thrown in
the waves of Tiber, Moses saved
from the sea, Zeus threatened
to be eaten by his father Cronus,
Little Tom Thumb abandoned in
the woods… Myths, religions and
fairy tales have always set the
scene for children in danger who,
after having lived in fear and resignation, overcame thousands
of obstacles until the day they
became heroes. These legendary characters perfectly symbolise the Inner Child, a concept
that has gotten so popular in the
American psychology these last
twenty years. As adults, we have
abandoned and silenced our
“inner child”… To recognize him
and to set him free is to recognize and set free our profound
nature, our creative potential,
our spontaneity, and finally, our
own heroic nature.

My desire to make this movie
comes from my deep and intimate
bond with my inner child, with
my adolescence, this period full
of experiments that I never really
left. I would like, through Taro,
to ask adults not to forget their
“inner child”, and to ask
teenagers to resist social
conventions by living freely.
The movie is also based on the
relationship between art and
beauty, between love and death.
It’s a story about sexuality. In a
society where homophobia is
still strongly rooted, Taro is a
brave character: in spite of his
young age, he undertakes his
differences and pushes everyone
to resist social conventions and
assume their singularity.
With a lot of humour (“All men
are bisexual, Freud is the one
who said it”, he says to Marc),
Taro pushes his mate to reach
his true self. Thus, Taro is an
initiatory road-movie dealing
with coming-of-age issues,
self-acceptance and Freedom
with a big “F”.


The filmmaking will insist on the
“Caravaggesque” side of Taro by
using multiple close-ups with
a pronounced clarity/obscurity
contrast. This way of filming will
emphasize the strange beauty
of the squat, a place where all
transgressions are possible –
like a video game.

The black & white format will
give the film a timeless and universal shape. It is also a metaphor of the Ying/Yang concept.
The Ying and the Yang represent
the man/woman duality, among
various things. The film aims
at showing that it is possible to
overcome this genre division.

The sadomasochistic scene in
the squat’s boiler room between
Taro and Camille is a metaphor
of the violent way teenagers are
confronted to adult life, in a society that tends to be more and
more aggressive.

Taro will be shot in 2:4 scope
mode. Quoting our director of
photography Philippe Brelot,
“this film is about a teenager
opening himself to the world, so
this opening should be as wide
as possible”. I think that using
the whole width of the screen is
the best way to show and make
people feel Marc’s transformation.

We want to shoot handheld, in
order to immerse more easily in
this «squat» where dangerous
worlds telescope each other.
Concerning the pacing, we will
adopt a jerky, nearly hypnotic
rhythm in the «squat» scene.
Then, as to create an opposition, the pace will be slower in
the beach scene, shot on the
Touquet’s dunes, which is more
contemplative and bare.

Apart from the church, we will
shoot in three types of decors:

My main references are:

• The road (first in Paris and then
in the country)
I intend to worship Paris’ historical, cultural and architectural heritage. I will show the fine
sculptures – cherubs, fishes and
candelabra - by Henri Désiré
Gauquié on the Alexander III
bridge while Taro and Marc cross
it. The little angels announce the
church scene.

- The Naked Island, by Kaneto
- a movie without dialogues
where everything is said in the
staging’s beautiful rhythm and

• « La Passerelle» in Bagneux,
a collective gathering various
associations and artists, who will
nourish the baroque universe of
• The dunes of Normandy
where the two friends are finally
reconciled and go towards the
sea, opening themselves to all
sorts of possibilities.

- Gummo by Harmony Korine, in
which one can feel real poetry,
- The Smell of Us by Larry Clark
for the teenage universes of the
- A Clockwork Orange by Stanley
Kubrick, for the violence in the
- Salò, or the 120 days of Sodom”,
last cult film by Pier Paolo Pasolini, for the sadomasochistic relation between Camille and Taro,
- And at last Death in Venice,
by Luchino Visconti, inspired
by a novel Thomas Mann novel
relating an ethereal love. I was
overwhelmed by the evocative
power of the characters’ gazes
in this film.
Franck Marchal



From the beginning, I wanted to
work with a music composer to
create an original soundtrack able
to translate the script’s energy
and singularity. I met Olivier who
showed his enthusiasm for the
film right away. He has a very
visual approach to music. He
understood that Taro is a story
based on contrasts – which will be
emphasized by the soundtrack.
Olivier has worked with an entire
orchestra in Köln: I also want to
collaborate with musicians to
illustrate the narrative tension
with power and subtleness.
When I wrote Taro, I first imagined
only one musical atmosphere, for
the ending scene in front of the
sea. The notions of space, light and
immortality are very important
in my film. The first part of Taro
is a movement from the interior
to the exterior, from life to death.
Marc and Taro are immortal
yet ephemeral heroes. They cross
motorcycle and have no idea that
they are about to enter a hellish
place that will swallow them.

I spontaneously chose a pop-rock
music for the beginning of
the film, close to the musical
universe of road movies like Easy
Rider, an open and catchy music
able to translate the two friends’
feeling of total freedom.
The second part of the film, starting
with the flipper’s “game over”, is
a brutal downward slope to hell.
The spectator will be drawn to
uncertainty, torn between the
beauty and the violence of this
place. The squat has closed down
like a trap on Marc and Taro. The
music will change and grow in
intensity and aggressiveness
as they enter the “Passerelle”,
until they encounter Camille, who
seems to be like an angel in the
middle of the demons.

The Burntoy & Carlotta interlude
recalls the circus world and
creates a sensation of mystery.
Music is at the core of this scene.
The hypnotic play of Burntoy and
Carlotta will draw Taro towards
his torturer, Camille.
An orchestra of industrial
noises will make up the sound
atmosphere of the sadomasochistic
scene between Taro and Camille.
The crossing of the columns’ room
is a key passage in the film. This
room is like an airlock between
the inside and the outside,
between two hurdles: the squat
and the encounter with the priest.
We enter a spiritual and mystical
phase. The two friends cross
the room in slow motion, like
astronauts in outer space.
A modern orchestral music
will illustrate the symbolic
power of this moment.

In the end of the columns’ room,
there is a silence. Then an Indian
music, “Govinda” (the shepherd’s
song), will come crescendo. At
this moment, Marc and Taro
find themselves before an altar
worshipping Krishna. The seven
musicians sitting by the altar
bring them to a smooth trance.
The Krishna flute rocks them.
They feel like they are saved. The
pleasant Govinda song describes
them a sublime Eden, a real
We continue to hear “Govinda” as
they reappear on their motorcycle,
on the road to the sea. The song
vanishes with the music of the
waves and the seagull that
welcomes them.
At last, after the scene of the
church, that will only lay on
dialogue, with no music, Marc
and Taro have to face the infinite
of their destiny, accompanied
by a romantic lyrical music that
seems to overwhelm them.
Franck Marchal



I first met Franck Marchal on the
shooting of a student short movie
about Heavy Metal - “On The Floor”.
Right away, he told me about his
movie project “Taro” with such
energy and conviction that I was
obliged to listen. The story could
have ended here. However, when
it comes to Franck, one idea is an
arrow to the next. That day it became
clear to me that there was a whole
universe in his head, that he needed
to share through cinema. I felt
that this dreamy yet pragmatic
entrepreneur had a strong project,
a life project, with high artistic and
intellectual ambitions.
This story of deep friendship
between two teenagers, with at its
core the question of sexual identity,
seems to illustrate perfectly
Bossuet’s sentence: “our true
enemies are within ourselves”.
I was touched by it because it
addresses the way we limit our own
spheres of action and thought, as if
we had built our own jails within our
heads. Indeed Marc, shy teenager
that he is; would have stayed at
home without Taro, preventing
himself from discovering all these
things. However we all have the
capacity to evolve, to transform
ourselves and to try new things
even though we sometimes don’t
know it. I think that everyone, in
a way, can identify to both Marc
and Taro.

The originality of Taro also relates
to the way the subject is treated.
In that sense, the metaphor of this
crazy, chaotic and immense squat
is in my opinion a perfect illustration
of the entry in the adult world.
But as I said, it’s not only a film, it’s
a whole universe Franck has in his
head. Its coherence was clear to me
from the beginning. Indeed, 2 other
short films are planned, and they are
intimately bound to Taro, revolving
around the same themes and ideas.
One feature film, La Falaise (“The
Cliff”), is also in the pipeline the first
scenario Franck has ever written, but
also the most secret. He only speaks
about it with great care, keeping
mysteries unveiled. Thus, Taro will
allow Franck to release what has
been in his head for so long - just
like his character Marc.

Taro is also the first step to creating
Les Films de la Falaise, the start-up
production company that Franck
has been willing to found for so long.
Its ambition is to produce a cinema
that crosses boundaries, resisting
cultural and social conventions.
The idea is to make engaged films
that challenge - maybe disturb the
spectators, and make them reflect.
Cinema is a pleasure, an entertainment,
a way to escape, but also a way to
think and to grow up.
Les Films de la Falaise will
also welcome projects from
other authors, the fundamental
requirement being always a sense
of engagement and a total freedom
of creation.
Ulysse Kelbert
Executive producer




Death on the Princes’ Island

Art underground

The Cliff

Tokyo –Paris

The story takes place in Turkey,
Buyukada Island, in 1923. Vitalis, a
Jewish-Spanish father, loses one of
his two children and leaves the
Island with his remaining son.
A slow wandering between, earth,
sea and desert to discover his

A wandering through the heart of
the artistic creation in the European
Colour 52 min. documentary

At 40, Marc feels the need to undergo a psycho-analysis, releasing
his deepest thoughts and regrets in
a dreamy journey through his own

2016 Production

137 min. feature film

Paris, today. A young Japanese
girl get threatened by her parents
because an unknown man,
supposedly her boyfriend, has been
seen on a holiday picture. Intrigued,
she goes after him.

Black & White 31 min. short movie

2017 production

Colour 15 min. short movie
2018 France – Japan coproduction

2016 France-Turkey-Morocco



Franck Marchal is a 50-year-old
Parisian who spent a big part of his life
abroad. He communicates in French as
well as in English. Just like his father,
he loves movies. At the age of 5, he
was already familiar with the French
Cinemathèque in Paris, as well as
the youth hostels’ cinema club, which
was run by his father Daniel. From
his mother Nicole Eskanazi-Marchal,
a psychologist, he inherited his love
for humans, his critical spirit and his
everlasting self-confidence. She also
gave him the capacity to wonder, to
enjoy nature and the will to catch the
best in every human being.
He has been writing poetry since his
childhood. At the age of 15, Franck
travelled to Japan. This experience
was very particular and outstanding
to him - he has been fond of Asian
cultures ever since.

He has co-founded the website « Cinélibre » for which he specialized in
interviewing film directors for French
producers and distributors.
In 2005, he wrote a long feature film
scenario called “The Cliff” (“La Falaise”). Taro will be his first film, a
short, philosophical, coming-of-age
road-movie. He’s been working on it
for 4 years. A Parisian photo gallery
wishes to present artistic works about
this project.
Currently Franck is creating his
own production company, Les Films
de la Falaise, in France, for which
he is looking for active and passive

A successful entrepreneur (he successively lead 4 companies, in Europe,
Asia and in the US), Franck Marchal
worked during several years in interior design and fashion. He also founded a network of artistic residencies in
France, called the LAB.
As an author, journalist and film director, Franck is involved in politics
and particularly in the gay issues. He
was violently aggressed during the demonstrations on the gay marriage law
that occurred in France in 2012.



(Jules Houplain)
Marc is a 16 year-old boy who has never been
challenged by life. For him, things are clear:
he’s heterosexual - actually he never really
wondered. The experience of the party in the
squat, where Taro brings him on his father’s
moped, is quite destabilising for him.
His angel face and extremely promising talent,
make Jules Houplain the most appropriate
actor for this complex character of a teenager
about to transform himself.

(Harmandeep Palminder)
Taro, on the contrary, is a charismatic and
uppity 18 year-old fellow. He’s a kind of “big
brother” for Marc, a reverse mirror. He is never
afraid of trying new things, and pushes Marc to
do the same.
After his role in the feature film “Bébé Tigre”
by Cyprien Vial (2014), Harmandeep Palminder
seems to be an excellent choice to play Taro.
His life experience and his background give him
a perfect understanding of the character. The
first camera tests have only confirmed these


(Nelly Clara)
Camille is a young Japanese woman raised in a
Yakusa family. Despite her pretty and innocent
looks, she’s a very dangerous person who will
seduce Taro on purpose…
A French actress with Korean origins, Nelly
Clara will bring to this complex character her
capacity of seduction and intense gaze.

Father Alexis is a catholic priest with an intimidating look. He used to teach catechism to
Taro in his childhood, but has lost sight of him
since. He crosses Taro’s road again in the end
of the film, in unexpected circumstances.
Olivier Hémon’s stature and charisma have
impressed Franck Marchal. His subtle and
spontaneous understanding of the role will
allow him to bring this character to life.



© Cristian Simic



© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic


© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic


© Cristian Simic




Philippe Brelot
Philippe Brelot started his career in photography. He decided to turn to cinema in the early
nineties. He began to work as a camera operator and director of photography on short movies
and documentaries, soon moving on to feature
films. In 2001, he operated on « L’Origine du
Monde » (The World’s Origin) by Jérôme Enrico,
starring famous French actors Roshdy Zem and
Alain Bashung. 4 years later, he was DoP for
Mehdi Charef’s épisode of the feature film « All
the Invisible Children ». The film was screened
at the Venice Film Festival.
All along his rich career, he also worked on several short movies, most of which were awarded
in festivals. Overall, the films he worked on sum
up about 60 festival awards.

Thus, « Papa dans Maman » (« Dad in Mommy)
by Fabrice Bracq (2014) won the Best Comedy
Short Film Award in Cleveland in March 2015.
This film has been selected in more than 150
festivals. Even more recently, he worked as DoP
on the short film « The Mummy », directed by
Lewis Eizykman, shot in black & white. The film
is also a real success in festivals.
Seduced by the story of « Taro », he joined the
film’s team and will allow the project to grow
thanks to his precious experience and his strong
artistic sensibility.

Olivier Militon
Olivier Militon was born in France in 1977. Since
his early childhood, he’s been very passionate
about music, especially film music. He first
learnt to sing and play guitar. As a keen music player and cinema-lover, he was naturally
driven to film music composition.

His style mixes several music genres, and is
always characterized by a strong link with the

In 2009 he began to teach sound / image
relationships in the Annecy Conservatory, and
later in the famous Gobelins’ school in Paris.
He won several film music awards in various
international festivals, including the European
Talent Award in the Soundtrack Festival of Köln
in 2011, and the Jerry Goldsmith Award in the
International Film Music Festival of Cordoba
in 2013.


Ulysse Kelbert
After his Master’s degree in finance in 2014,
Ulysse Kelbert decided to turn to cinema,
following his true passion.
He made many enriching encounters ever since,
and learnt a lot on shootings. He was a catering
manager and second assistant director on various
short movies. As a would-be producer, he was
very interested in Franck Marchal’s project from
the beginning and worked with him on the entire
film preparation. He helped him constitute a
genuine and strong team, and to elaborate the
communication and financing strategy.

Hélène Zadounaïsky
The day when Hélène Zadounaïsky joined us,
it is not exaggerated to say that the project took
another dimension. She has been an agent,
director of production, and catering manager,
and is now a renowned casting director.

She also produced theater plays for Ysatis
Productions, and managed the logistics
of several festivals.

Among the productions she worked on, one
can count several feature films such as « Le
Château de ma Mère » by Yves Robert (1989)
and several films by famous French director
Jean-Pierre Mocky.


Cristian Robert Simic
Cristian Simic is a photographer and sociologist
born in Romania and focused on beauty, people,
situations, emotions, intimacy and poetry.
He’s always in search for images hiding stories,
of friendship, evolution and adventure.
He considers that his style is poetic, human and
social, a little influenced by surrealism. He likes
to capture moods, emotions, everything called «
the moment ».
More than anyone, he was able to translate the
strange beauty of La Passerelle. His artistic sensibility brings a lot to the project.

Julie Lacaille
Julie Lacaille was initiated by her mother Sylvie
and soon became a crafted wardrobe supervisor. She comes from Québec, but now lives in La
Roche sur Yon in western France.
For her, costumes are not accessories, they are
truly essential to the characters, tell something
about them. Her understanding of the project
and her good mood convinced Franck and Ulysse right away that she was to be Taro’s wardrobe










Painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi



© Hannibal Volkoff

© Hannibal Volkoff

© Hannibal Volkoff

© Hannibal Volkoff



Gummo, Harmony Korine



Christiane F., Uli Edel (Secondary references)
A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick

2001 : A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick (Secondary references)

Rumble Fish, Francis Ford Coppola
(Secondary references)



The Naked Island, Kaneto- Shindo


The smell of us, Larry Clark



Reference for
the «bax»



A collective of artists in Bagneux, France

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

A collective of artists in Bagneux, France

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

A collective of artists in Bagneux, France

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic

© Cristian Simic


A collective of artists in Bagneux, France

Léo Martin’s puppets

Léo Martin’s puppets

Dem Dillon’s


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