From laugh-out-loud through romantic comedy to dry and understated – humour in all its forms.
Lil’ Quinquin’s serial murders, The Little Death’s sexual fetishes, racial tensions in Dear White People... this year’s comedic crop mine potentially treacherous terrain that some might consider no joke. Impressive, then, how these and other fine entries here find humour, be it jet-black, surreal or broad farce, amid humankind’s more tragic foibles. Established auteurs (John Boorman and, surprisingly, Bruno Dumont!), rising talents – Amr Salama (Excuse My French) – and distinctive new female voices (Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behaviour, Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation) wield laughter to make deeply thoughtful and powerful emotional connections. Enjoy taking them seriously.
Six hilarious short stories combine to form a macabre tango at the gates of madness in this outrageous comedy about the trials of modern life.
Marie likes things to be safe and quantifiable. But can you measure happiness or even the weight of a life? A bone dry comedy from Norway’s king of the deadpan, Bent Hamer.
A twentysomething, bisexual Iranian-American woman struggles to conform to traditional Persian standards, figure out her stalled career and negotiate her troubled love life.
Judy Holliday sparkles in this award-winning, energetic and lively comedy drama based on the play by Garson Kanin.
A veteran harness-racing horse driver hatches a ‘fail-safe’ plan to turn his fortunes around, from the director of King Curling (2011 BFI London Film Festival).
Channeling the early work of Spike Lee, this smart college campus comedy explores contemporary race issues in post-Obama America.
A Christian boy in Egypt is forced to swap his elite education for state school, where he is believed to be a Muslim.
Gyorgy Pálfi’s absurdist and provocative take on life in contemporary Budapest features seven rather unusual episodes.
High theatrics, red herrings and quickfire dialogue come together in this entertaining take on the culture of co-productions that shapes contemporary filmmaking.
Hong Sangsoo returns with this smart comedy of foreign manners, where a Japanese man searches for the Korean girl of his dreams, only he doesn’t know where she is and can only speak a little English.
Italy’s biggest comedy hit about a bunch of broke academics who decide to do a ‘Breaking Bad’ and enter the drug manufacture and dealing business.
Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos star in a satirical drama about a couple who take to the country for the weekend and get more than they bargained for.
Bruno Dumont turns to comedy in this knockabout, but dark and unsettling, mystery-cum-farce about kids, cops and cattle in Northern France.
Jason Schwartzman is a hotshot writer with pathological intimacy problems in a caustic comedy of overachievement.
A group of suburban Sydney couples explore their taboo sexual predilections, causing havoc with their various relationships.
A downtrodden seventy-something Jewish man attempts to restore his pride by unmasking an elderly German beach bar owner as a Nazi war criminal.
A naïve drug mule in police custody who’s swallowed heroin pellets fights the urge to expel the evidence as mobsters and corrupt cops close in.
A series of funny, touching and surprising encounters take place one night among the diverse passengers of a London night bus.
Like a time capsule straight outta 1985, Hip Hop has arrived and 13-year old Rad Miracle is about to have the summer holiday that will change everything!
A hit in Spain, this enjoyable rom-com combines inventive energy, fish-out-of-water gags, engaging performances and a hilarious plot where regional clichés meet nationalist aspirations.
It might seem difficult to imagine a comedy set within the rank and file of the Israeli army, but this film manages it, with the exploits of a group of young female conscripts.