I Stand Alone [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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After reading the Amazon review on here, I decided to watch the prequel, a 40 minute film called "Carne", before watching the full length "I Stand Alone". I'd highly recommend doing this if you can get hold of it, (I had to download it) as it sets up this film perfectly, and you get a steady introduction to all of the characters and events that have gone before. This would still be highly enjoyable "Carne" or no "Carne" but if you want the best viewing experience possible, that would be the way to do it.
It must be said that this film is not for everyone and is certainly not a feel good movie. The scenes are depressing and are often interspersed with philosophical soliloquies on the pointlessness of life, that leave you feeling overwhelmingly helpless for the duration of the film. As negative as that sounds, this only helps you to get on the same wavelength as the now homeless, unemployed butcher, Jean Chevalier.
The film is littered with tactical staccato violin stabs and shotgun blasts, that punch through the silence, and refuse to let you rest. It becomes clear that Jean Chevalier is not self destructing on his own - you will be right beside him for the ride. As the film races to a nauseating climax, we are warned that we have 30 seconds in which we can decide to carry on watching, or walk away unharmed, which only adds to the tension that has been steadily building throughout the film. I must admit, I felt a childlike sense of excitement when the countdown was over, like Christmas had arrived, and prepared myself for what was to come.
Please watch this film. It's wonderful!!!
"I Stand Alone" was the debut feature film from French filmmaker Gaspar Noé. Noé rose to cult status in 2002 with his controversial film Irréversible which, in some circles, caused quite a stir. But "I Stand Alone" is a different film entirely. It is set in France circa 1980, and tells the story of The Butcher (Philippe Nahon). Forced into retirement due to bankruptcy, he finds himself locked into a marriage with his nagging pregnant wife (Frankie Pain) and a hateful mother-in-law (Martine Audrain). Having moved from Paris hoping for a new life, he finds himself at the very bottom of the barrel living in a cramped apartment and taunted by the women every moment of the day. Then one day when confronted by his wife for cheating he snaps. This man is ANGRY! and we are made aware of it in part by occasional acts of violence, but mostly by a continual stream-of-consciousness narration in which all his bile is directed in scatter-gun fashion at the world in general. It is difficult to tell how much this character is emblematic of Noe's own beliefs; one hopes he isn't.
Realizing what he's done the Butcher abandons them and returns to Paris. Poised on the edge, seething with bitterness and hatred for a world he must endure, he continues on looking for money, work and a place to stay. No one will help, not even his friends.Read more ›
Let's dissect the word protagonist for a moment. It can mean the principal figure or it can mean the leader of some kind of cause. Noe uses his protagonist for the former and destroys any positive connotation the word may have held at any point. Michael Corleone (The Godfather) and William Munney (The Unforgiven) are examples of villains directors are sympathetic toward, but there we find reason for their downward plunge, whether it be selfishness or simply the ever-relative feelings of retribution. These classic films pose some intriguing questions. Does real evil exist and assuming it does why should we care about what it thinks? or worse yet how we may actually see ourselves in their errors? Why can't we just put them in films and let their actions speak for themselves and let their consequences carry the audience toward a satisfying feeling of payback or resolution?
This story is about an old man released from jail and attempting to live his life plagued with guilt and hopelessness. He is a sad, indirectly sorry, unrealistic and profoundly disturbed character. He is misled and careless to everything around him. The kind of person we want to ignore completely and not know anything about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the most disturbing, raw, and savage portrayals of the human condition ever committed to celluloid. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lee B, hove
A most excellent film, showing how life, thought processing, and actions can lead to human demoraliastion. Read morePublished 20 months ago by johnny boy
This film is definitely in the top 10 most pretentious, overrated films ever made. It is crazy that it has awarded itself its own warning on the cover for a film which features one... Read morePublished on 9 May 2011 by LambrettaLad
This is simply to warn others that have a 16:9 T.V that this DVD has been formatted for 4:3 televisions, as in it's still the 2:35 origional aspect ratio but 'shrunk down' for non... Read morePublished on 21 Sept. 2009 by James G
I haven't seen this film since 2003, when it was shown on Film Four shortly before the release of Gaspar Noe's second feature film, the controversial Irreversible. Read morePublished on 19 May 2006 by Jonathan James Romley
As it seems will be his alot for his entire career, I began to watch Seul Contre Tous with the words of many ringing in my head. Disturbing, violent and the like. Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2004 by Mr. S. Fowler