The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95) (2000)
Lars von Trier wrote (in four days) and directed this Danish comedy-drama about a group of Copenhagen eccentrics who find a therapeutic release and confront apathy via unacceptable, idiotic behavior which they call "spazzing." Stoffer (Jens Albinus) is supposed to be selling his uncle's house but instead it becomes the focal point for geeky group activities. Restaurant patrons are disturbed by the group's mischief, but single diner Karen (Bodil Jorgensen) develops an appreciation of their antics. Stoffer, at his birthday party, wishes for a "gangbang," and both clothes and inhibitions are soon discarded. But when Stoffer calls for the group members to let idiocy invade their personal daily lives, only Karen takes up the challenge. Shown in competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95)
The Idiots suggests that if Danish iconoclast Lars von Trier's filmsare getting tougher, they're also continuing to reward the patient.
Has nothing on its mind besides the squirming discomfort of its audience.
A tedious, pretentious bore.
The first Dogme film of enfant terrible Lars von Trier challenges viewers to reexamine their social mores and cinema habits of voyeurism and pleasure.
For all the Dogme-ordained restrictions to make the film feel "real," it ends up feeling more artificial.
The least you can say for it is that's it's truly brazen.
Not bad for a dogme movie.
Caustic, brutally funny, and more passionate than perhaps anything [Von Trier's] ever done.
Von Trier has proven his self-proclamations of cinematic genius to be true.
It's one thing to know in your own ego that you're an intrepid cinematic genius. It's quite another thing to be so cocky that you leave flubbed shots in your movie and call it art.
Raises intriguing questions, but most audiences will have the same response to von Trier's weird commune: Grow up already.
Audience Reviews for The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95)
Wonderful on many levels - as an (aborted) excursion into a new film form, and the bizarre attention that it brought to the progenitor who immediately abandoned it; as a source of perverse entertainment turned desperate tragedy; as a look into metafilm and levels of reality. It doesn't seem like there's a lot going on in The Idiots, but between its guiltless waltzing from genre to genre, the clashing ideologies of both the characters and the story itself, and the greater ramifications of being a Dogme 95 film and what it's implicitly saying about its cast and director, there's some serious thought behind that ugly exterior. This will not be an easy watch for many understandable reasons, and I think it's fair to call it offensive, obnoxious or even incomplete. I just think it's fascinating. I enjoyed watching the film with the Dogme Vow of Chastity in mind and wondering what limitations that imposed on von Trier and his crew. The performances he draws from his cast, unhesitantly authentic, are also enthralling when placed in a documentary context. Tensions were high between von Trier and his players, and there's a palpable parallel between how the "spassers" disintegrate and how his own harmonious set begins to fall apart. In fact, there's a very thorough and elaborate byline on which the events of this film, Dogme 95, and the work of Von Trier all operate, with thinly constructed notions of "reality" where other layers of their respective worlds can't help but leak in.
Maybe the film's success as a conventional narrative in the medium is arguable, but I think it's an excellent auteurial curio and an exceptional think piece. It's also sort of hilarious in a way that becomes very dark with a gut-punch of an ending. As with just about all of von Trier's work - not for everyone, but worth at least giving a shot.
Astounding, brave, funny and touching cult film. I find it hard to understand how so much has been said about the "lack" of production values or the nudity in this movie, which to me aren't even worth mentioning, but hardly anyone comments about how astounding the ACTING is! The actors in this, and in Lars Von Triers' previous Breaking The Waves, display completely realistic acting very rarely (if ever!) seen in Hollywood.
But if you want a funny, dirty, smart, irritating, and even infuriating satire of both the bourgeoisie and the bohemians who oppose it, then The Idiots is for you. Von Trier has assembled a furiously talented cast of unknowns to spin this tale of a Danish commune that pretends - to the horror of the middle class masses that surround it - to be a private institution for "retards" and "spastics".
Ok, Vinterberg's Festen was a great start to Dogme 95 but Lars von Trier's Idioterne as the second Dogme 95 film is a huge disappointment, Pretentious & dumb to the coreMore
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