IMDb > I Stand Alone (1998)
Seul contre tous
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I Stand Alone (1998) More at IMDbPro »Seul contre tous (original title)

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Gaspar Noé (writer)
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Release Date:
17 February 1999 (France) See more »
In the bowels of France
A horse meat butcher's life and mind begins to breakdown as he lashes out against various factions of society while attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 5 nominations See more »
(57 articles)
User Reviews:
Céline: "Almost every desire a poor man has is a punishable offense." See more (100 total) »


  (in credits order)

Philippe Nahon ... The Butcher
Blandine Lenoir ... His Daughter, Cynthia
Frankie Pain ... His Mistress (as Frankye Pain)
Martine Audrain ... His Mother-in-Law
Jean-François Rauger ... Real Estate Agent
Guillaume Nicloux ... Supermarket Manager
Olivier Doran ... Narrator
Aïssa Djabri ... Dr. Choukroun
Serge Faurie ... Hospital Director
Paule Abecassis ... Junkie
Stéphanie Sec ... Female Hospital Patient
Arlette Balkis ... Dying Lady
Frédéric Pfohl ... Male Hospital Patient
Gil Bertharion Jr. ... Bus Driver
Rado ... Hotel Manager
Nicolas Jouhet ... Cafe Owner
Ahmed Bounacir ... Cafe Customer
Roland Guéridon ... Old Friend
Sophie Nicolle ... Younger Daughter
Hervé Gueridon ... Second Friend
Marie-Madeleine Denecheau ... Roland's Wife
Robert Roy ... Fourth Friend / Lab Director
Joël Leculle ... First Butcher
Denis Falgoux ... Second Butcher
Monsieur Billot ... Third Butcher
Gérard Ortega ... Bar Owner
Alain Pierre ... Owner's Friend
Stéphane Derdérian ... Owner's Son
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zaven ... Every Man his Moral
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Directed by
Gaspar Noé 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gaspar Noé  writer

Produced by
Lucile Hadzihalilovic .... producer
Gaspar Noé .... producer
Cinematography by
Dominique Colin 
Film Editing by
Lucile Hadzihalilovic 
Gaspar Noé 
Makeup Department
Jean-Christophe Spadaccini .... special makeup effects artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dominique Delany .... first assistant director
Stéphane Derdérian .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Jean-Luc Audy .... sound
Valérie Deloof .... sound
Edmée Doroszlai .... boom operator
Olivier Dô Hùu .... sound
Olivier Le Vacon .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Kamel Belaïd .... electrician
Pierre-Yves Le Mée .... key grip
Antoine Rabaté .... assistant camera
Mathieu Szpiro .... gaffer
Dario Argento .... special thanks
Nicolas Boukhrief .... special thanks
Marc Caro .... special thanks
Albert Dupontel .... special thanks
Samuel Fuller .... special thanks
Christophe Gans .... special thanks
Jean-Pierre Jeunet .... special thanks
Mathieu Kassovitz .... special thanks
Jan Kounen .... special thanks
Francis Leroi .... special thanks
Quentin Tarantino .... special thanks
Shin'ya Tsukamoto .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Seul contre tous" - France (original title)
"Cannon" - Japan (English title)
See more »
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): The main character tells the manager of the abattoir that he is 50 years old. However, the narration at the start of the movie states that the main character was born in 1939, and the movie is set in 1980, which would make him 40 or 41 years old.See more »
The Butcher:People think they're free. But freedom doesn't exist. Just laws that unknown people made to protect themselves.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004)See more »
Marimba doSee more »


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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Céline: "Almost every desire a poor man has is a punishable offense.", 27 November 2005
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

Gaspar Noë's first full-length film seeks to provide, and sometimes achieves, an elegantly bleak picture of the world through the eyes of a French butcher whose life has been devolving from day one. The film begins as a kind of quick documentary life, narrated over still photos with the voice-over of the butcher, played by Philippe Nahon. From here forward the voice never leaves us, moving relentlessly forward with its declarations of gloom and anger. The narrator's negativism commands our attention and even our respect because of its intensity and clarity. Perhaps this man is just a depressive, a hopeless loser. But his anger and his articulateness command attention and create an irresistible and memorable voice -- a voice quite reminiscent of the writings of Louis-Ferdinand Céline ("Journey to the End of the Night," "Death on the Installment Plan"), who like Noë's protagonist was a nihilist, fascist, and anti-Semite, and likewise shocked with his bluntness of expression. Set in 1980, the story of "I Stand Alone"/"Seul contre tous" may also be meant to reflect the thinking of a certain French underclass of that time whose desperation and resentment toward growing minorities in the country and toward the rich and the liberal bourgeoisie led them to rally behind the far right political leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Philippe Nahon is strong in the central role. Indeed one can hardly imagine anybody else playing it. But all the characters Nahon interacts with tend to be little more than static cameos. There are even moments when we are not sure they exist, or when his declarations seem like fantasies, and this uncertainty undermines the otherwise forceful narrative. Unfortunately also the film tends to disintegrate into excess verbiage and alternative finales in its last chapters. The nonstop narration has seemed to work well up to then, but when Noë resorts to an overlapping second voice and approaches the father's sexual violation of his daughter through panning off into the street, the voice-over becomes a wall preventing us from experiencing what's been dealt with and the hitherto blunt manner -- the obscene slangy language and the gun-shot blast divisions of images and the boldly declarative intertitles (Noë is of the nothing-succeeds-like-excess school of film-making) -- comes to seem a bit of a facade. As in the later "Irréversible" it seems as though the director's desire to shock and exploit ingenious and attention-getting cinematic techniques is greater than his willingness to develop a story and characters in depth. Nonetheless there are strong signs of a bold and original talent on display here, and of an independent point of view.

The respected critic Jonathan Rosenbaum went overboard when he classified "I Stand Alone" as a "masterpiece." Noë strives so hard to achieve profundity he dupes himself into the certain conviction that he has achieved it. Whether "I Stand Alone" will stand the test of time is a question only time, not Noë or Rosenbaum, can decide.

The film is not particularly well served by a Strand Leasing DVD providing a slightly blurry print and no extras. The Menu design however is rather handsome.

Watched on Netflix DVD November 2005.

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