SEUL CONTRE TOUS
(a.k.a. I STAND ALONE)
Directed & Written by Gaspar Noé
Produced by Gaspar Noé & Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Cast: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankye Pain & Martine Audrain
1998/88 mins/Color/2.0 Dolby Surround
2.35:1 anamorphic/French/France/PAL Region 2
Review from the Studio Canal DVD
To each its moral, to each its justice. Hatred, loneliness and despair... SEUL CONTRE TOUS follows the dark and ruthless life of a 50 year old unemployed butcher wandering through the streets of Paris after beating up his pregnant mistress which may have killed the unborn child. He can't seem to find work, runs out of money and plays around with a loaded gun. He hates the world and everyone living in it. After being threatened with a shotgun by an Arab bar owner and rejected from a job by a former meat supplier of his shop, he loses it all. He takes his autistic daughter to the hotel room where she was conceived... a warning appears onscreen, we have 30 seconds to stop watching or we must prepare for the worst.
Philippe Nahon gives an amazing performance as the butcher. The film is basically a 88 minutes monologue about life, hate, moral and justice. The life-like cinematography, harshness of the editing, rawness and truth of the script, the shocking scenes and bold textual messages make this film one of the best and darkest to come out from France. Like most independant film, Noé went through hell to make this feature film but in the end it was worth it.
Shot in 16mm scope with an anamorphic lens in front of the normal lens and later blow-up to 35mm, the film is presented in a very nice 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is a little grainy and reddish but it was intended that way, a nice transfer for such a low budget film. The 2.0 Dolby Surround is loud and clear, making great use of some of the directional effects through the film. There is no subtitles available.
We get a very detailed and informative commentary track with Noé which years later can surprisingly recall all of the elements of the film! The film is separated in 16 chapters, comes in a very nice cardbox, 3 postcards and one sheet with the speech of the butcher. The menus are animated with sounds and music. We also get the very effective trailer. Also on this disc is the short film that started it all.
In 1991, Noé made the 38 minutes short, CARNE which is actually the very beginning of the story from SEUL CONTRE TOUS. Nahon is once again the butcher and this time we learn how he raised his daughter and why he was sent to prison after he attacked the wrong man who he though raped his daughter. CARNE is another visceral work from Noé, taking no prisonners and setting us for SEUL CONTRE TOUS which was made a few years later. CARNE is part of this DVD and features a nice transfer, a grainy one but still looks very good and a clear audio track.
This edition was released in France along with IRREVERSIBLE in February 2003. A previous edition now OOP was released in France a few years ago and another one also OOP in North America which was slightly cut and featured burned in English subs.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2004. ©