Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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Idiots and Angels

Canadian Premiere

WINNER: Public Prize, Best Animated Film, Fantasia Film Festival

Hosted by Creator Bill Plympton

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“Darkly comic, slightly surreal... his most provocative work to date” – David Kwok, TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL


Director: Bill Plympton
Screenplay: Bill Plympton
Producers: Biljana Labovic
Distributor: Bill Plympton Studio

Part of...

Animated Auteur Visions   

Animated Auteur Visions


It’s always a pleasure when Bill Plympton emerges with new work, and his latest feature is no exception. A seedy nameless man goes about the routines of his daily life, angrily getting out of bed, showering in a daze, then getting hammered for hours at Bart’s Bar, where he mocks other patrons and generally acts like a peckerhead. He also happens to be a gun dealer. His routine is broken only by the occasional fights he picks with whoever happens to be nearby. One morning, he wakes up with angel wings inexplicably growing out of his back. He can now fly and do somewhat incredible things. But he is no angel.

After his large-scale, colour-drenched, celebrity-voiced indie epic HAIR HIGH, Bill Plympton has taken shelter in the opposite extreme, creating a raw, stripped-down feature that returns to the basics of his award-winning cult shorts. Poetic, nasty and sweetened with an oddly optimistic flavour of misanthropy, IDIOTS AND ANGELS is Plympton at his purest. There is no dialogue. There are few characters. Colours are dirt earthy. Pencil lines and scratch-shadows lend gritty texture to everything. As always, he takes wicked pleasure in deconstructing human behaviour and imaginatively accentuating mundane, everyday actions into twisted absurdities and sometimes, revolting grotesquery. In the midst of a barroom fight, Plympton gives us an inner-torso view of flesh being punched against muscle. We watch a man taking a shot of booze from the perspective of his mouth. Plympton’s penchant for surrealism is at full force as well, and ingenious transitions are in abundance. In one sequence, a woman’s graveside tears fall from her face and hit the earth, the teardrops evolving into a flower with a stem that burrows straight into the heart of the body below her. IDIOTS AND ANGELS is further proof that Plympton is a true original.

—Mitch Davis