The Idiots
The Idiots

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Certificate: 18 | Released: 1998 | Duration: 1 hr 50 mins | Director: Lars Von Trier | Studio: Palisades Tartan | Genres: Comedy - World Cinema

Lars von Trier's first contribution to Denmark's Dogme 95 collective (subtitled "Dogme 2," following Thomas Vinterberg's THE CELEBRATION) concerns a group of adults who decide to get in touch with their "inner idiot." When Karen (Bodil Jorgensen), a shy, sensitive young woman, follows a group of mentally disabled individuals home after an encounter at a restaurant, she discovers that they are, in fact, healthy and intelligent. Led by Stoffer (Jens Albinus), the group lives communally in his wealthy uncle's house. Stoffer b ... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

Lars von Trier's first contribution to Denmark's Dogme 95 collective (subtitled "Dogme 2," following Thomas Vinterberg's THE CELEBRATION) concerns a group of adults who decide to get in touch with their "inner idiot." When Karen (Bodil Jorgensen), a shy, sensitive young woman, follows a group of mentally disabled individuals home after an encounter at a restaurant, she discovers that they are, in fact, healthy and intelligent. Led by Stoffer (Jens Albinus), the group lives communally in his wealthy uncle's house. Stoffer believes that by "spassing" in public they are rejecting the conformity and normality of modern society, and he spends his unemployed days thinking of different ways to toy with the world at large.
Shot with handheld digital cameras and using natural lighting and natural locations, THE IDIOTS possesses an urgency that makes it feel like a documentary. Von Trier sparked a heated controversy with his decision to film the sex scenes with actual intercourse, adhering to the Dogme tenets. (He hired porn actors for the close-ups.) This controversy aside, the film nonetheless raises questions about cultism, modern ethics, and the idea of individuality within the absurdity of the characters' world.

A group of people decide to explore outrageous behaviour. A chance meeting with a girl called Karen who takes to their childlike abandonment, means that the group may have a new member. Danish dialogue.

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Movie Reviews

Entertainment Weekly - 7.5/10 by Owen Gleiberman A highly calculated act of mischief that sounds like a stunt cooked up for Howard Stern's radio show.
Rolling Stone - 8.0/10 by Peter Travers With shocking humor and surprising grace, Von Trier creates something unique and memorable.
Mr. Showbiz - 7.2/10 by Richard T. Jameson Shot on location, handheld camera, available light, no props, no music, no filters, etc. We may wonder, "What are we doing here?" But we won't look away.

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