Film: The Idiots

Idioterne, released internationally as The Idiots, is a 1998 Danish film written and directed by the ever-infamous Lars von Trier. The film was the second officially released Dogme 95 film after Thomas Vinterberg's The Celebration.

The story opens with a shy woman, Karen (Bodil Jørgensen), sitting in a fancy restaraunt. Suddenly, the establishment is disturbed by the behaviour of two apparently mentally ill men. The men (and their carer) are promptly asked to leave, but on the way out, one of the men notices Karen and decides to hold her hand, forcing the timid lady to go with them. Upon leaving however, it is revealed that the two men aren't mentally handicapped at all. They were just faking it, seemingly For the Lulz.

Black Hilarity Ensues as Karen and ourselves are introduced to a larger group of "idiots" or "spassers" and their lives in a series of episodes of varying moods.

This film provides examples of:

  • Black Comedy
  • Break the Cutie: The film is the second entry in von Trier's "Golden Hearts" Trilogy (between Breaking The Waves and Dancer in the Dark), focusing on this trope.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Stoffer tries to expose the town of Sollerod as one of these. The citizens end up almost proving him right by putting their own discomforts above being charitable. Of course, when faced with a similar challenge, Stoffer ends up looking like a Hypocrite.
  • Creator Cameo: Lars von Trier appears in an uncredited role as the interviewer/officer/therapist talking to the idiots throughout the film.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: What the idiots invoke. Subverted in that they're faking it.
  • Dogme 95: Dogme #2, Lars von Trier's only true Dogme film.
  • Doing It for the Art: This seems to be one of the rationalisations for the group's actions, one that Stoffer calls others out for.
  • Downer Ending
  • Fan Disservice: Pretty much all of the nudity, largely due to the encroaching style of shooting.
  • Heroic BSOD: Stoffer has a... rather unusual one aimed at a local council worker.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Thrown about quite a bit by Stoffer.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Invoked and somewhat deconstructed. The "spassers" act less like actually mental challenged people and more like the kind of childishly naïve adults who pass for such in movies, milking peoples sympathies to do whatever they want.
  • It Amused Me: Why the idiots most likely do what they do.
  • Jerkass: Stoffer.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The sombre violin piece repeated occasionally throughout the film. A weird example in that it's non-diegetic, breaking the Dogme 95 rules somewhat.
  • Minimalism
  • Mood Whiplash: Much like The Celebration, this film vaults the viewer back and forth mentally again and again.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Quite literally. All of the idiots, perhaps with the exception of Karen, have elements of middle class stereotypes who are simply bored with their lives.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Stoffer delivers one to his associates towards the end.
  • Wham Line:
    Susanne: "I think Stoffer should choose what we do next. Because it's his party."
    Stoffer: "Gang bang."

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