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Shawn Levy Is Mad About Idiots and Angels

February 13th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Oregon animator, Oregon critic, Oregon director, Oregon film new definition, Oregon writer

“Idiots and Angels”

There’s always been a curious tension between the spare, homemade craft of Bill Plympton’s films and the Baroque, Freudian fantasies he is so fond of exploring, and often the balance has been unsteady. But this handsome and dreamy film is the first time he’s gotten it all more or less just right at feature length.

It’s a wordless story, maybe even an allegory, about a misanthropic gun dealer who hangs out at a dive bar and discovers one morning that he has begun to spout wings on his back. At first he recoils from this strange novelty, but then he sees the advantages, as do the predatory folks in the dark, mean world around him. Plots against him develop; love emerges; tragedy strikes; and then there’s an unforeseeable reversal.

There’s goop and sex and gore and dark humor — this is not your children’s animation — but there’s wonder and wit and terrific music. Plympton’s been at the game for a long time, but this film makes it seem like he’s only just beginning to hit his best patch of work.

From Shawn Levy’s review

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