The Idiots is an incredibly provocative film that works on the basest and purest of emotional levels. While reactions to the film vary from extreme disgust to warm empathy, it is hard to imagine any audience member not being cataclysmically affected by watching Lars Von Trier's legendary X-rated contribution to the Dogme 95 filmmaking movement.
The story examines an radical commune of formerly bourgeoisie Danes whose primary group activity is "spazzing": going out in public and pretending to be mentally retarded. By using their "spazzing" game as an excuse to cast off the emotional constraints of living like an adult, these "idiots" demand responses from us, ranging from exhilaration, hilarity, discomfort, fear and even grief. Von Trier's directing -- in accordance with his own cult-like shot-on-video Dogme 95 manifesto -- also creates a loss of control and deep intimacy that make these themes and situations as confrontational as imaginable.
Formerly only released in the U.S. with the X-rated portions censored, The Cinefamily is proud to present the original version in all its shocking power.
Dir. Lars von Trier, 1998, digital presentation, 117 min.
The Humiliated -
Rarely is a making-of doc so perfectly matched in tone or storyline as the subject of its gaze, but The Idiots and The Humiliated are furiously intertwined, in a mindgame kind of way that seems quite -- Von Trier-ian? Filmmaker Jesper Jargil accepted an Assistant Director post on The Idiots under the condition that he be allowed to make his own film about the film, and the result is as personal and scarring as Von Trier's masterwork.