Idiots and Angels

Idiots and Angels

A scene from Bill Plympton's IDIOTS AND ANGELS.

Idiots and Angels

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Idiots and Angels (2008/2010)

Opened: 10/06/2010 Limited

IFC Center10/06/2010 - 11/02/201028 days
Sunset 5/LA10/29/2010 - 11/04/20107 days
Music Box Thea...12/02/2010 - 12/09/20108 days

Trailer: Click for trailers

Websites: Home

Genre: Animated Feature

Rated: Unrated


"Idiots and Angels" is a dark comedy about a man's battle for his soul.

Angel, a selfish and morally bankrupt man, wakes up one morning with wings on his back. He tries to hide them, but eventually everyone at Bart's Bar, where he hangs out, discovers them and ridicules him about his bizarre appendages.

Angel visits a doctor to try to have the wings removed, and the doctor realizes that the wings could be his ticket to fame and fortune. But before the doctor can remove the wings, Angel escapes from his office in fear.

As Angel tries to adapt to the wings, he discovers that now that he can fly, he has greater opportunities to abuse others. However, the wings seem to have a will of their own, and they foil all of his greedy plans.

After Angel cuts off the wings with a chain saw, his life returns to normal - except, the next day, as he sits at the bar, Bart the bartender needs the wings to boost business at the bar. So, he fights with his beautiful blonde wife, knowing that the good wings will come to her rescue. Sure enough, the wings instantly grow back, and Angel takes the frightened blonde away to the clouds, where they fall in love.

Unfortunately, when they return to the bar, Bart is waiting with a gun and the doctor, and he shoots Angel in a jealous fit. The blonde is overcome with panic and leaves the bar, as the doctor surgically removes the wings and sews them onto Bart's back.

Bart fights the will of the wings with manacles, and flies over all the other bars in town, dropping bombs to ensure that he has the only drinking establishment in town. Now, Bart's bar is raking in the money, and Bart wants to get his lost wife back - as he forces his romantic and sexual attention on her, she fights back. The struggle becomes violent, and out of Bart's stomach emerges a re-born Angel.

The two winged men fight a battle royale of good vs. evil as all the bar patrons look on. When all the burn-victim customers realize that Bart is the terrorist that destroyed all their favorite watering holes, they all gang up on him too, and evil Bart is incinerated in his own back room, where he stored all his weapons and explosives.

Finally, Angel and the blonde end up in bed, and the wings detach themselves and fly away, to rescue some other misguided soul.

Director's Statement

The first recollection I have of the concept was an event in 2005, when I was walking with a student at the Lille Short Film Festival in France, and he asked me what my next feature would be about. I declared, off-handedly, that it would be about an angel who didn't want his wings, and as we discussed the idea, I really got to like the concept. That night, in my hotel room, I started to explore the dramatic possibilities of a reluctant angel. At that point, I had just finished production on "Hair High", and although I thought it was a great film and would make me rich, it was a very difficult production - so, I decided that "Idiots and Angels" would be the exact opposite of "Hair High".

While "Hair High" was bright and colorful and fully animated, "Idiots" would be monochromatic and more limited in its animation. While "Hair High" had big-name actors providing voices, "Idiots" would only have music and sound effects, no dialogue at all. My new short film "Shuteye Hotel" was a short rehearsal, an experiment done in the new style of "Idiots and Angels".

Because this film has no dialogue, I wanted music to play throughout - almost like a long opera - or an extended string of music videos. The look of the film is very Eastern European - something like what Jan Svankmayer might make, or David Lynch if he made animation - very dark and surreal.