Idiots & Angels

First, it’s not a short, but at 78 minutes, his first feature since 2004. Second, it’s decidedly darker than his usual terrain. Third … well, in the opening scene, what looks like the main character’s morning wood rustling under the covers is actually an alarm clock. (The end scene? That’s another story.)

The film plays 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, along with Plympton’s latest short, “The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger,” a colorful, five-minute piece that looks more like the work of Gary Larson than Plympton.

But back to “Idiots”: Free of dialogue, its unconventional, oft-frustrating story concerns a man who becomes a literal angel, although his behavior is more devilish.

For example, he drinks heavily at his neighborhood bar, to the point where he molests a woman who works there. Once his wings make their surprise sprouting, he wants nothing to do with them.

But when cutting them off just makes them grow back, he gives them a spin, allowing for activities like spying on nude sunbathers. Yeah, he gets shot at a lot.

With its scenes of sex and violence, neither too graphic, it’s definitely not for kids. Plympton has a distinct style recognizable to many who’ve never seen his work in motion; hand-drawn rather than created by computer, “Idiots” should be seen by those more interested in the sheer craftsmanship behind the flighty, freaky events that may not sit well with mainstream tastes. In storytelling terms, it would work infinitely better at a fraction of its length.

Rod Lott

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