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3 reviews, 12 user ratings

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Idiots, The
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by Vibeseeker

"One of the most confrontational experiences of recent times."
5 stars

Despite being a self-proclaimed idiot, Lars Von Trier is no filmmaking fool. With the acclaimed Breaking the Waves and the virtuoso Kingdom series to his credit, Lars' cerebral surrealism is swiftly getting him recognised as the Ingmar Bergman of Danish cinema. The Idiots marks the director's first adherence to the Dogma '95 manifesto, a set of film making guidelines formulated by a collective of Danish filmmakers. The "Vow of Chastity" binding the directors to the manifesto, affirms a crude back to basics approach to filmmaking: forsaking genre types and artist recognition, and only shooting with hand held cameras, using real locations without additional props and effects. With the veneer stripped away the raw essence of cinema is bared and pushed to the edge in search of candour, truth and the subversive, at the cost of good taste and aesthetic considerations.

To cinema evangelists who are brainwashed on set cinematic codes this may seem like the incarceration of cinema. But this deconstruction, devoid of superficial action and polished production, makes The Idiots actually one of the most outrageous and confrontational cinematic experiences of recent times.

The film centres on a group of retarded wannabes led by Stoffer (Albinus), who share the pastime of faking idiocy. Satisfaction comes when they further their lunatic limits; the frolics come thick and fast from mental swimming lessons, all-in orgies, to Hell's Angels literally lending a hand to a retard's lavatory routine. Of the film's minimal plot, the main thread is the chance meeting of the group with Karen (Jorgensen), a seemingly troubled and lonely soul. Overcoming her initial bewilderment and warming to the ethos of the group, Karen eventually finds solace in them. But at the same time the group begins to fragment as the spassing escalates and interferes in their everyday life. Stoffer then sets the litmus test of spassing in their private circles to determine which members are dedicatedly deranged.

Through the idiotic hedonism and confrontation of people's tolerance and hypocrisy to mental disorder, The Idiots questions bourgeois conventions, rationality and the concept of normalcy. On the whole it doesn't function as a smart philosophical exercise, as at its heart is a satirical rawness that never allows things to be taken seriously.

The hand held cameras, and the occasional guest appearance of the camera man slipping into shot gives The Idiots a distinct documentary feel, providing an absorbing realism that negates the need for narrative. The frank nudity adds to the fly on the wall realism with fannies frantic and erections standing proud (stunt cocks courtesy of porn stars). Despite a penetration scene being cut, this does mark a welcomed liberalism from the bemoaned Australian censors.

The nudity, depiction of spastics and unconventional style is destined to arouse a real fervent love/hate reaction to the film.

In this respect The Idiots is something of an arthouse South Park, and if you like unconventional movies that serve up sadistic silliness, irrepressible social commentary and animated nudity, you'll be insane to miss it. ---David Michael

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1722&reviewer=251
originally posted: 08/26/99 12:43:54
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User Comments

6/21/08 Reza Tayebi terrible! 1 stars
11/19/06 derko spazz up for the camera with a penetration scene.. cool film 4 stars
7/09/04 Wanger Very Good and Thought provoking 4 stars
6/22/04 tokio dixx this is one of the best movies ever. funny and moving! i love it 5 stars
8/03/01 The Pointless One Bloody great! Trier captures you in his vision of the idiots, like never before... 5 stars
2/18/01 LOOBER Worst Movie ,ever, 1 stars
2/09/01 peter faiz after reading this idiot reviewer i know why dogme is essential:humorless americans 5 stars
1/27/01 Mr. Eddy Pretty shitty stuff. If this is a typical Dogme 95 film, give me David Lynch. I love Lynch. 1 stars
5/06/00 perverted pixie I dont know what to say about this one...see it for yourself. 5 stars
9/16/99 strike I still do not know what i think of this movie, but i still can't get it out of my head. 4 stars
8/26/99 Meepos Made me dizzy. 3 stars
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  28-Apr-2000 (R)



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