Dec 7, 2013
Over a decade ago, I was in a superlatively shitty punk/hardcore band with one of those fat and retarded anti-racist skinhead types and I remember one time how the poor and mixed up fellow—a would-be-tough guy whose addiction to tattoos was only transcended by his addiction to steroids and supplements—once told me how completely and utterly disgusted and offended he was by Argentinean auteur Gaspar Noé’s debut feature I Stand Alone (1998) aka Seul contre tous, especially in regard to the infamous scene in the film where the down-and-out antihero punches his pregnant bitch of a mistress in the stomach and assumedly kills his/her unborn progeny in the process. Maybe it is because I am a little wacked out or whatever, but I found the same scene to be completely and utterly hilarious, not to mention quite therapeutic, and judging by auteur Noé’s remarks in various interviews, I would not be surprised if he felt more or less the same way about the scene. Like the racially-charged iconoclasm of Louis-Ferdinand Céline's scribblings meets Angst (1983) aka Fear directed by Austrian auteur Gerald Kargl meets Taxi Driver (1976), except all the more patently pessimistic and nihilistic, I Stand Alone is a rare ‘French’ flick with martial testicular fortitude that does not wallow in pansy ass political correctness nor pretentious pseudo-existentialist meanderings. Indeed, a radically unlikely work that actually 'realistically' depicts the degenerating life of a white frog lumpenprole and the troubles he faces as a debased member of the silent majority who hates all races, including fellow European ones, and has little patience for illegal aliens from the global South stealing his employment and destroying French cities, I Stand Alone is like a celluloid punk take on the prophet philosophies of Oswald Spengler as directed by the apocalyptic age’s equivalent to Paul Schrader. Introduced in the opening credits as “the tragedy of a jobless butcher struggling to survive in the bowels of his nation,” I Stand Alone is the story of a rather unlucky French butcher played by Philippe Nahon who loses his cool and decides to take revenge on society, but ultimately realizes it is easier said than done so he hooks up with autistic teenage daughter, who he has incestuous feelings for, instead and finds solace in the only way he knows how. A sequel of sorts to Noé’s 40-minute short Carne (1991), which features the same butcher character (also played by Nahon), who flips out and stabs some towelhead illegal alien in the face after falsely assuming the ugly untermensch raped his beloved daughter, I Stand Alone is a curious character study from post-WWII Europa hell that actually has the gall to tell things like they are, no matter how uniquely ugly and unflattering they are. Indeed, the essence of the Butcher’s character can be summed up in his rather stoic and non-sarcastic remark, “Who knows? With a little luck there'll be a war soon. WW3.”
During the beginning of I Stand Alone, the Butcher (Philippe Nahon) tells his entire pathetic life story in a couple minutes in a minimalistic photo montage. Born near Paris in 1939 to a whore mother who forever abandoned him two years later and a French communist that was killed in a German concentration camp that he never had the opportunity to meet, the Butcher, not unlike many people of his generation and continent, was left an orphan amongst the chaos and carnage of the Second World War. While still just a schoolboy “an educator nabs his innocence in the name of Jesus,” thus the Butcher naturally developed an undying hatred of faggots in all forms. “Driven by survival,” the Butcher learns the less the respectable trade of butchering animal carcasses at the age of 14, which proves to be rather fruitful as he manages to open his own shop in Aubervilliers selling horse meat by the age of 30. After busting a poor factory girl’s hymen, the Butcher becomes a father to a little girl named Cynthia nine months later. Unfortunately, history seems to repeat itself for the Butcher as Cynthia’s mother abandons the family, so he is forced to raise the girl, who grows up to be an autistic mute, by himself and he grows to love her like no other in the process. When the Butcher’s mute daughter has her first period and he sees blood on her panties, he becomes enraged and stabs a brown illegal alien he wrongfully suspected of raping his little girl. While the victim unfortunately survived, the Butcher was sent to prison and, in turn, his daughter sent to a mental institution to rot away. Unable to support himself and his daughter while in prison, the Butcher loses his house and business. When he gets out of prison, he starts working at a bar and eventually gets the Matron (Frankye Pain)—a bitchy blimp of a blonde ‘beast’—pregnant. The Matron decides to sell the bar and agrees to use the proceeds to purchase a new meat market for the Butcher in a northern frog city. “Hoping to escape the dark tunnel of his existence,” the Butcher heads to Northern France with his big bumper of a baby-momma, but little does he realize that his meager dreams and aspirations are about to be crushed under heel by a lying and callous bitch.
The location is Suburb of Lille, Northern France and the date is 3 January 1980. The Butcher has reluctantly moved into the flat of his fat Mistress’s busybody mother (Martine Audrain) until the two can ostensibly find a place of their own. Unfortunately for him, the Butcher is cuckolded by his mean-spirited Mistress’ money, but she ultimately reneges, like so many women do, in regard to her promise to buy him a meat market, so he is forced to take a lowly job as a deli clerk, but is almost immediately fired for refusing to smile and the ‘cheap cunt’ Mistress quite naturally verbally reams him for it. Eventually, the Butcher gets a job as a night watchman at a nursing home where he meets a loving and caring nurse that is the total opposite of his pigheaded pig of a Mistress, thus making him realize the ridiculous of his ‘romantic’ relationship and current sorry lot in life. When the menacing Mistress unjustly accuses the Butcher of having an affair with the nice nurse and being a ‘part-faggot,’ he decides to give her a couple good kicks and punches in the stomach, thus nuking their nuclear family before it was ever disastrously sired. After stealing a gun from his miscarriage-plagued Mistress’ mother, the Butcher flees Northern France and heads back to Paris where he rents a room in the same dilapidated flophouse where his daughter was once conceived. Immediately, the Butcher begins looking for work as a horse meat butcher, but it seems that frogs no longer enjoy gorging on wild stallions, thus making his chance of finding his ideal position seem slim to none. After a series of failed job interviews and conversations with less than supportive friends suffering similarly sorry lots in life, the Butcher decides to take revenge against society and venomously vows to kill the homosexual manager of a slaughterhouse that he used to do business for not hiring him for a meager entry level position. The Butcher plots to kill the slaughterhouse manager aka “rich homosexual pig” at a local bar, but when he arrives he is soon ejected from the tavern at shotgunpoint after calling the owner’s son a “nigger faggot” (he looks more like a Jewish or wop faggot). Plagued by an unlingering desire for wrathful revenge, the Butcher comes back to the bar to blow away the owner, his son, and some drunk patrons, but gets there a tad too late as the place is already closed, so he walks home in irksome defeat. More decidedly desperate and lunatically lonely than ever, the Butcher decides to pickup his daughter Cynthia (Blandine Lenoir) from the mental asylum and brings her back to his pathetic flophouse room. As the Butcher candidly confesses, he feels that Cynthia is the only person that has ever truly loved him and vice versa, but he gets mixed feelings while in her company that range from sick fantasies of brutal murder/suicide to incestuous sex, and he ultimately opts for the latter. In the end, The Butcher rationalizes his incestuous love for his daughter by stating, “If they forbid us this love, it’s surely not because it’s evil. But because it’s too powerful,” thus bringing a quasi-happy ending to one rather unhappy and unhinged celluloid story.
In an interview featured in issue #7 of Ultra Violent Magazine, auteur Gaspar Noé responded with the following when the interviewer asked him if I Stand Alone is both ‘anti-French Cinema’ and ‘Anti-France’: “Actually, the film isn’t anti-French at all. That was just a joke. There’s a subculture in France that is rarely portrayed on the screen. In America you can have movies about a bad cop. In France, you usually don’t have those kinds of things. It is looked upon as fascist or racist.” Indeed, with the Butcher antihero of the film spontaneously creating such beauteous aphorism as, “I wonder why there are so many queers among the rich. Must be their lack of strenuous effort. They lounge around doing jack shit and their genes grow soft and degenerate. Yes indeed, that’s the way it is,” it is easy to see why I Stand Alone might offend certain members of the white liberal bourgeois crowd that typically daintily devours French cinema. Indeed, with all the seemingly countless pro-communist films that have been defecated out the country since the post-WWII era, namely among filmmakers of the French New Wave, it would ironically take an Argentinean of racially dubious origin to make a real French proletarian movie expressing the sheer and utter hopelessness of the poor to topple over the rich in the land of so-called “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” According to the Butcher, the French are too collectively pussified and culturally cuckolded to start another revolution as especially indicated by his remark, “Guys like Robespierre are the ones who could do France some good today. Not the fat sluggish fruitcakes who pretend to govern us. In this country, for centuries it’s been the same or even worse. But today people are too queer to make a revolution. All you get now is personal revenge.” Despite what the mainstream media tells us to the contrary, the real white French working-class, not unlike much of the American working-class, rather despises non-Europid foreigners, authoritarian political correctness, globalization and all forms of the nefarious neo-Trotskyite disease. Even director Noé had to admit the following in the same interview with Ultra Violent magazine regarding the true French majority, “At the time, fifteen percent of the people voted for the National Front, and many of the other people were as racist as the National Front,” just as most white working-class people in America would support a true nationalistic anti-immigration movement if it hit the mainstream. As a rather agitated fellow brandishing a handgun at the beginning of I Stand Alone quite eloquently states, “You know what Morality is? I’ll tell you what it is. Morality is made for those who own it. The rich. And you know who’s always right? The rich. And the poor pay the price,” and as soon as pissed proles like the Butcher begin deciding their own moralities, the better! Fuck Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) and Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992), I Stand Alone is the real deal as a socially scathing celluloid work that stares, spits, and shits in the ugly face of American-sired globalization and Occidental decay and exposes it for the nation-deracinating and culture-distorting sham that it is. At the beginning of Noé's follow-up film, Irréversible (2002), the Butcher appears in a drunken cameo where he reveals he was arrested for buggering his mute daughter. Maybe if the Butcher had been a more enterprising individual, he would have became a Leatherface-esque exterminator instead of a mere daughter-defiling sex criminal, but he is French so one must be more realistic in their expectations. To quote the gloriously Eurocentric alpha-neofolk group Death In June, “It Is The Fate Of Our Age That We fight In Isolation” and Noé's anti-avant-garde masterpiece I Stand Alone has no clearer message than that.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 11:06 PM
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