Idiots and Angels (Bill Plympton)
Bill Plympton is probably best known for his political cartoons, which have been featured in many various newspapers. “Idiots and Angels” is a departure from the bluntness and pinpoint subjects of his newsworthy drawings. Instead, Plympton tackles much broader and less-definable human conditions, such as happiness, evil, self-content, and selfishness.
The Starz Denver Film Festival screening of “Idiots and Angels” was well received by the audience, and it was well talked about days later. The man himself, Mr. Plympton, was present at the screening, and when asked how he came up with the premise, he responded, “I just, one day, had an idea of an asshole guy who wakes up with wings one day.” True to his word, this is, indeed the premise.
However, Plympton takes the audience deeper into the journeys of this asshole with wings, showing us his perceived world response to a person with wings and that person’s response to the world’s response, and so on.
The result of this animation flick was a joy to watch. Plympton’s use of line shading and his perception of the dark, colorless world was an intriguing step into his imagination. No words were spoken in the film. During the Q&A, Plympton described it as a “sort of cartoon opera” with the music carrying the flow of the film. This sans speaking formula worked, as the actions of the characters and their drawn expressions were louder than words.
This dark comedy was probably the animated highlight of the Starz Denver Film Festival. Having Bill Plympton there was the icing on the cake. This is a film for anyone who loves animation, dark comedies, or Bill Plympton. Since watching this film, many have become fans of all three.