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.
This film provides examples of:
- Black Comedy: Some of the darkest comedy you will ever see.
- 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.
- Cringe Comedy: The entire premise of the film, used to make a point. Maybe.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: The main characters are adults who fake developmental disability as a sort of juvenile game (and in some cases to take advantage of people's hospitality) while regularly throwing around slurs like "retard" and "spaz." The movie clearly wants you to hate these pathetic people.
- 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. He admitted to bending some of the rules, such as having a non-diegetic score, hiring a van to drive to locations and including a couple of body doubles in the orgy scene.
- Doing It for the Art: In-universe. This seems to be one of the rationalisations for the group's actions, one that Stoffer calls others out for.
- 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. As if pretending to be developmentally disabled wasn't bad enough, he eventually starts forcing everyone in his commune to further humiliate themselves because his "spazzing" makes him Drunk with Power.
- Lonely Piano Piece: The sombre violin piece repeated occasionally throughout the film, breaking Dogme 95 rule about only including diegetic sound.
- Manchild: All of the spasers, to an extent, considering what it is they do, but especially Stoffer.
- Minimalism: As part of Dogme 95, the film, the film features almost entirely natural lighting, on-location shooting, diegetic sound, visible boom mics and no stunt doubles.
- Mood Whiplash: Much like The Celebration, this film vaults the viewer back and forth mentally again and again.
- Obfuscating Disability: The Idiots' favorite trick to get out of pretty much every situation they find themselves in.
- 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.