What better way to brighten up your cold winter nights than with a little laughter? This season, we’ll be celebrating the wonderful world of comedy on screen with four funny fortnights.
We’ve scoured through our film favourites to dig out some of the best comedies of all time, and broken down our season into four easy strands. You can take a deep dive into your favourite comedy sub-genre, or have fun splashing about in an ocean of comedic variety. The choice is yours, but we’re sure there’ll be something to get that belly laughing.
Kicking things off with Stoner and Cult Comedy, you and your buds will be rolling in the aisles with our celebration of all things hazy and lazy. Expect blazing performances from all of your red-eyed favourites, Plus, we’ll even help you satisfy your cravings with a brownie making workshop.*
After all that time up in the clouds, we’ll bring you back to reality with Contemporary British Comedy. An exploration of quintessentially British wit, expect a bitter twist and a sprinkling of social realism delivered by the British stars of today (and tomorrow). Also, watch this space for an event in which we’ll take a peek behind the scenes of British Comedy with a special guest.
The world of comedy is littered with under-celebrated women, so we’ll be highlighting some of our favourite laughter-inducing ladies with a Women in Comedy strand. Expect a good mixture of films, from complex emotional explorations to rip-roaring wild nights out. We’ll also be offering a special women’s comedy workshop alongside this strand.
Finally, in the run-up to Christmas we’re heading all the way back to the films that launched a thousand laughs. In our Slapstick strand we’ll be showcasing the celebrated and underseen classics of the silver screen. Think farcically funny visual gags appropriate for all the family, and if you do come with a crowd (or even if you don’t) we’ve got a fabulous family-friendly slapstick workshop for all ages.
*all brownies will be strictly PG
Comedy Genius is a nationwide celebration of comedy on screen, led by BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience network, supported by funds from the National Lottery. For more screenings go to bficomedy.co.uk. #bficomedy
Upcoming films & events
- Friday 15
- It's Friday and Craig Jones (Ice Cube) has just been fired from his job for stealing. To make matters worse, his rent is due, he hates his overbearing girlfriend, and his best friend, Smokey (Chris Tucker), owes the local drug dealer money.
- Sat 3 Nov
- Dazed and Confused 15
- It’s the last day of high school and a group of rowdy teenagers are celebrating in style.
- Wed 7 Nov
- Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies 15
- There’s only one kind of food that will satisfy the intense cravings nerdy accountant Harold and his lazy but charming best friend Kumar develop after an evening smoking pot and watching TV – a hamburger from White Castle.
- Sat 10 Nov
- Attack The Block 15
- Walking back on her way from her nursing shift Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is mugged by a gang of shady looking teenagers.
- Tue 13 Nov
- Sightseers 15
- Alice Lowe and Steve Oram are brilliant as the nerdish Tina and Chris (think Bonnie & Clyde in anoraks) whose romantic getaway takes a murderous, and very bloody, turn.
- Sat 17 Nov
- Four Lions 15
- Four british muslim men living in Sheffield decide to push their abstract dreams of terrorism into an ill-conceived plan of farcical proportions.
- Tue 20 Nov
- Gone Too Far! + Q&A with Destiny Ekaragha 12A
- When London teenager Yemi's big brother comes to live with him from Nigeria, Ikudayisi's terrible fashion sense, broad Yoruba accent and misplaced confidence with the opposite sex threaten to destroy Yemi's already miniscule street cred.
- Sat 24 Nov
- Girls Trip 15
- When four lifelong friends – the Flossy Posse – reunite and take a VIP trip to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, mischief and mayhem take centre stage.
- Tue 27 Nov
- 9 to 5 15
- Judy (Jane Fonda), Violet (Lily Tomlin) and Doralee (Dolly Parton) couldn’t be more different, but they bond over being mistreated by their sexist manager (Dabney Coleman). Fed up with him they dream of getting even...
- Sat 1 Dec
- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown 12
- This wild and wonderful screwball comedy sees Carmen Maura as a woman tracking down her ex-lover in a ‘magical’ Madrid.
- Tue 4 Dec
- Adult Life Skills 15
- A charming and hilarious British comedy about the journey of a creative hermit on pause.
- Sat 8 Dec
- Women-Led Comedy Workshop
- Sat 8 Dec 15:30
- Some are born funny, some become funny, and others learn it in a two-hour workshop. This women-led session centres around a radical approach to writing and performing stand-up.
- Monsieur Hulot's Holiday U
- Jacques Tati’s glorious comic masterpiece, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, follows its lovably awkward protagonist as he attempts to relax and impress a young woman, all while leaving a trail of destruction behind him.
- Tue 11 Dec
- Sidewalk Stories 15
- Sidewalk Stories has all the elements of the great silent comedies: physical grace, perfect timing and sly social commentary. Most of all, it’s very, very funny. The difference: Sidewalk Stories wasn’t made in 1919, but 1989.
- Sun 16 Dec
- The Marvellous Mabel Normand U
- Everyone knows Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but where are the women in silent film comedy? The trailblazing Mabel Normand – who starred in 167 shorts and 23 features – gets her long-overdue moment in the spotlight as part of our Comedy season.
- Tue 18 Dec
- The General U
- An imaginative masterpiece of dead-pan Buster Keaton comedy, generally regarded as one of the greatest of all silent comedies.
- Sat 22 Dec
- Slapstick Workshop
- Sat 22 Dec 15:00
- A fun-for-all-ages workshop where you can follow in the footsteps of Buster Keaton & Charlie Chaplin! A fab lesson in physical comedy!