Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The I Stand Alone/Angst Connection

I Stand Alone is truly one of the greatest, harshest, funniest, and most brutal films ever made.

Director Gasper Noe followed it up with Irreversible and Enter The Void.

The film's protaganist, 'The Butcher' (Phillipe Nahon) is a chap I'd love to spend some time with. His world view is cynical and as raw as a freshly fucked orifice.


I was fascinated by a recent Gasper Noe interview (from Britain) in which Noe cited the relentless voiceover of Gerald Kargl's mind-bending Angst as being the inspiration for the relentless voiceover used by 'The Butcher' in I Stand Alone.



It's an extremely interesting and understandable revelation because the voiceovers of both movies serve to undermine and counterbalance what we're seeing on-screen. They don't simply underline what we're seeing.


Angst, a sadly obscure film, also influenced some of I Stand Alone's stylistic flourishes.

In the film's climactic moments, 'The Butcher' becomes disoriented after he's engaged in sexual relations with a family member. Noe conveys the mental state of 'The Butcher' by attaching a camera rig to his body. The rig mimics the erratic movements of the character, and, by design, puts us inside his head.

In Angst, director Gerald Kargl conveys his character's instability with a similar rig.

This, of course, was done fifteen years before Noe used the concept in I Stand Alone.



Although Angst and I Stand Alone share some stylistic similarities, they are very much the works of original, uncompromising artists.



I do find it curious that the protaganists of both films fail to bite as savagely as they bark.

Kargl's killer, just released from jail, plans an unholy rampage that he fails to pull off.

Noe's 'Butcher' has fantasies of revenge that are thwarted by fate and his own confusion.







Both characters have spent time in jail, and, as a result, are trying to make it in a world that appears to have passed them by.

Their violent actions represent a desire to be acknowledged and taken seriously.

The films are masterpieces, and would make a perfect double feature.




3 comments:

  1. I saw I Stand Alone after I saw Irreversible and it was as f*cked up as advertised.

    Dying to Enter the Void.

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  2. Both of these sound like amped-up versions of TAXI DRIVER. Is that good or bad?

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  3. tja -- yes, I STAND ALONE doesn't disappoint.

    ***

    WE -- I STAND ALONE possesses echoes of TAXI DRIVER, but it's very different narratively.

    ANGST another kettle of fish entirely.

    I urge you to track them down.

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