Celebrating a world of side-splitting cinema, from slapstick legends to today's anarchic voices.
Fooling about became a fine art through the early decades of cinema, but comedy genius is too often under-recognised.
It’s the gift of perfect timing, an expertly executed sight-gag, a zinging wise-crack, a giddy rush of manic energy. Whether perfectly choreographed, brutally raw, or conjured out of improvisation and collaboration, the best comedy is ultimately disruptive.
It punctures pomposity, and blows a raspberry at social convention: the proto-feminist whiplash of screwball wit, the rambunctious working-class revolt of Carry On, the purposeful anarchy of alternative comedy.
Our Subscription collection highlights funny films from around the world, including great comedies from esteemed directors (Ingmar Bergman, Roberto Rossellini, Tsia Ming-liang), and some of the cynical and subversive works produced amid challenging political climates (Daisies, The Cremator, Dogtooth). Altogether we hope it upends perceptions about the English-language dominance of film comedy.
With a collection that ranges from silent slapstick heroes to contemporary satire, BFI Player celebrates the changing face of what – and who – we find funny.
Drama201996 minsDirector: Tim Mielants
Life on the nudist colony is fairly routine for handyman Patrick (Kevin Janssens), that is until the mystery of his missing hammer sets in motion a quest of self-discovery.
Drama2014109 minsDirector: Alex Ross Perry
Jason Schwartzman is a hotshot writer with pathological intimacy problems in this caustic comedy of over-achievement.
Comedy2021106 minsDirector: Radu Jude
Berlin Golden Bear winner, Radu Jude’s scathing satire finds schoolteacher Emi threatened with dismissal when a private sex tape goes viral.
Drama201186 minsDirector: Todd Solondz
Todd Solondz directs Selma Blair and Jordan Gelber in this delightfully dark satire as romance blooms between a toy collector and a depressed woman.
Comedy199495 minsDirector: David O. Russell
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) made his feature debut in 1994 with this biting black comedy, which caused a stir with its incestuous subplot and portrayal of adolescent restlessness.
Comedy196497 minsDirector: Vittorio De Sica
Sophia Loren and Marcelo Mastroianni are irrepressible as a long-married couple in this exquisite and timeless comedy of our all-too-human foibles.
Comedy1963118 minsDirector: Vittorio De Sica
Irrepressible Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves) directs this Oscar-winning film of three comic tales of love and sex in three cities.
Anthology1962204 minsDirector: Federico Fellini
Four of the greatest Italian directors – Fellini, Visconti, De Sica and Monicelli – join forces with show-stoppers Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg and Romy Schneider in a carousel of sex and satire mocking the mores of Italian '60s society.
Comedy201586 minsDirector: Desiree Akhavan
Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.
Drama200993 minsDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos' scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is original, ingenious and sadly relevant as a study of parent-child relationships
Comedy2004114 minsDirector: Tsai Ming-liang
Ming-Liang Tsai's outrageous blend of sex, comedy, musical and drama is a daring, controversial and hilarious smorgasbord from one of Taiwan's most acclaimed directors.
Comedy195284 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini's film about a photographer who is given the power to rid the Earth of 'evil-doers'.
Drama2013105 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg
Joanna Hogg's sleek and minimalist comedy about a pair of artists and their emotional attachment to their ultra-modernist apartment.
Drama201890 minsDirector: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.
Comedy201388 minsDirector: Destiny Ekaragha
Riotous urban comedy adapted from the hit Royal Court play, about a Peckham teen affronted by the arrival of his long-lost Nigerian sibling.
Comedy192445 minsDirector: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's superb, sophisticated silent comedy in which he dreams himself into the movie he's watching, in order to win back his girl.
Comedy192871 minsDirector: Charles F. Riesner
Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.
Comedy196896 minsDirector: Juraj Herz
This story of a professional cremator whose increasingly deranged impulses are given free reign during Prague's Nazi occupation, is a brilliantly chilling mix of Dr Strangelove and Repulsion.
Comedy1955109 minsDirector: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s Cannes prize-winning comedy assembles various couples in a country house in 1900.
Fantasy1965183 minsDirector: Wojciech Jerzy Has
During the Napoleonic wars, a soldier discovers a strange manuscript that reveals endless stories-within-stories. Wojciech Has' opus is a major cult film of the 60s, revered by Luis Buñuel, David Lynch and Jerry Garcia.