Course Guidelines

  Class Discussion   Writing Assignments  
  Path 1 Calendar   Path 2 Groups & Texts   Reference Texts

Dark Like Blood

The Idiots

"I happen to be of the opinion that if things exist, then you're not only allowed
to show them, you
have to show them" (Lumholdt 15).
Lars Von Trier, interviewed by Lars Schwander in 1983


Points of Reflection

Lars Von Trier's The Idiots (1988)

1. can one make a hard and fast distinction between why the different sexes have involved themselves in this group?

2. what do each of the participants find valuable in this group? How many different motivating factors are involved?

3. does the participants’ practice at spazzing allow them to respond in a more genuine and healthy way when real stressors and crises come their way?

4. when Ped says that Karen’s accusation that the group was “poking fun” was correct, what does he mean?  Who or what is the group’s target?

5. does the unseen interviewer (von Trier himself) who speaks with the characters one at a time throughout the film implicitly criticize what the group is doing by asking hostile questions?  Does he seem merely curious?  Does he appear sympathetic to their experiment?

Mannequin (1926-27)
"Untitled" (Woman with Flower Head) (1937)
ink and gouache on paper
Salvador Dalí

Dr. Paul Marchbanks

horses seem ubiquitous in this film. Does Von Trier assign this motif a single symbolic function?