During the 1990’s, the film industry went through a transformative time. Earlier this week we published an article about Harmony Korine and the success he managed to garner with his work in film in the 1990’s, and other classic projects like 1993’s Dazed and Confused and 1996’s Pulp Fiction further highlight just how transcendent the 90’s were for the film industry. The films produced during this time were a barrage of humorous, dark, poignant and so much more that we still remember the decade fondly even three decades later. One filmmaker who produced several films in the 1990’s stands out in particular though, and now his legacy is being revisited as Lars Von Trier’s 1998 film The Idiots is seeing a rerelease in theaters to mark the films 25th anniversary.
If you’ve never even heard of The Idiots, you’re likely not alone. On a budget of $2.5 million, the project grossed just over $7000 in box offices worldwide. The Idiots was actually a runner up for the Palme d’Or at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, yet despite nearly winning one of the highest honors in film the project failed to resonate with audiences. Von Trier’s work falls in the realm of weird and niche films that typically don’t initially see success, but over time gain considerably notoriety for the risks films like The Idiots took with virtually no hesitancy. The Idiots was a rather contentious film when it released as well as it centered around a group of individuals who would often pretend to be developmentally disabled with the goal of causing havoc and getting away with it for their perceived disabilities, and that truly just begins to scratch the surface of the project. The Idiots was also shot in Danish as opposed to English which would understandably limit the projects success in the United States initially, but it simultaneously fuel the fire in the heat of von Trier’s fans given the fact that they revere him for these unique creative decisions that make his films stand out so much to them. Said fans can look forward to the films rerelease, which is also being remastered in 4K, when The Idiots makes its second theatrical run this summer when it debuts on June 16th.
Lars von Trier is an interesting filmmaker as he was never afraid to go against the grain. Enigmatic at his core, the outlandish filmmaker has made a name for himself for being as unique as they come throughout his career that has spanned several decades now. The rerelease of The Idiots, a film that initially lost $2.5 million, is a prime example of the unique legacy he has forged for himself and fans can look forward to seeing it on the big screen in June.