When I saw Bill Plympton's name on the bill for a Tribeca screening, I made sure I revolved my schedule around it. I have been into Plympton's animation since I first saw his short "Guard Dog" a few years ago, and even made a special arrangement to see "Hair High" about a year and a half ago. Also, his films rarely seem to get picked up, so I feel lucky to have seen his new film already. "Idiots and Angels" is a bit darker than his usual fare, but it certainly doesn't lose quality. In fact, Plympton may have crafted one of his best films yet, in this strange odd story about a completely rude man who wakes up one morning to find a pair of angel wings on his back.
The story goes into several odd directions, but Plympton is the master of the interesting drawn image. He draws the old fashioned way, and than gives the sketches to his animators who make them come to life. I forget the number of sketches that he says "Idiots and Angels" was, but it was quite mind-boggling. I have a hard time drawing one picture let alone in the several thousands. He is also great at creating a fine mood here, with a beautiful musical score and some selected Tom Waits songs that really blend into the dark atmosphere. Yes, strange things happen, but that is to be expected from a Plympton film. It's the effort and this amusing directions his stories go into that make them so worthwhile, despite a sometimes grueling pace, which he works with often-you really do get adjusted to it quickly.
*** of ****