Skip to main content

I STAND ALONE

France, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Gaspar Noé

Described by Sight & Sound as one of the most harrowing and powerful films at last year's Cannes Film Festival (and winner of the Critic's Week Award), / Stand Alone includes a warning near its incredible climax that squeamish audience members have 60 seconds (including a countdown) to leave the cinema! If you are in any doubt about this bold challenge, this is one film that lives up to such provocation.

A former horsemeat butcher is fighting for sanity and survival. Having abandoned his autistic daughter, he moves to Lille with his pregnant mistress hoping to rebuild his life. He has no love for his partner or his new living arrangements in his mother-in-law's apartment. Hope turns to bitterness, then obsession and finally explosive violence.

A second move to Paris and renewed hope once more decays. Penniless, with only a gun, three bullets and a death wish, one thought spurs the butcher on: vengeance.

Gaspar Noe's feature debut is not entirely grim. The director is also capable of moments of transcendent tenderness. His depictions of distress are carried off with a macabre beauty reminiscent of the darkly attractive tone of the photographs of Joel Peter Witkin. Rather than simply employ sensationalist tactics Noe has assembled a film of total emotional impact.

See also...

ENTER THE VOID

“A wild, hallucinatory mindfuck for adults… defies cinema convention in every way.” - Screen International ... Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) continues his standing as one of cinema's most ... More »

AUTUMN TALE

Eric Rohmer once commented that his films deal less with what people do than what is going on in their minds while they're doing it—a cinema of thought rather than aclions. Winner of Best ... More »

SITCOM

Francois Ozon's feature-length debut—after more than a dozen shorts and featurettes (including MIFF 1998's See the Sea)—is an hilarious black comedy, irreverent, wacky, weird and ... More »

CHANCE OR COINCIDENCE

Myriam enjoys a quiet sojourn in Venice with her young son, Serge. In her previous career as a dancer she was filmed in this very city in a passionate duet with her estranged husband. She is ... More »

THE CLASS TRIP

Nicholas is an exceptionally nervous young boy with an overactive imagination. He's also nursing no small amount of paranoia. Claude Miller's The Class Trip (winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes 1998) ... More »

IT ALL STARTS TODAY

An ensemble tale about a working-class community struggling against apparently impossible odds, French film mainstay Bertrand Tavernier scripted the film with his daughter and son-in-law, based ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director