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.
Comedy1990100 minsDirector: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Jeunet and Caro's endlessly inventive and wildly enjoyable post-apocalyptic black comedy, about a sinister butcher and the circus clown who becomes his nemesis.
Listen Up Philip
Drama2014109 minsDirector: Alex Ross Perry
Jason Schwartzman is a hotshot writer with pathological intimacy problems in this caustic comedy of over-achievement.
La Grande Bouffe
Comedy1973130 minsDirector: Marco Ferreri
Marco Ferreri's provocative and controversial satire about four friends who retreat to a country mansion with the intention of eating themselves to death.
The Wayward Cloud
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.
The Living Wake
Comedy200792 minsDirector: Sol Tyron
Accompanied by his faithful assistant Mills (Jesse Eisenberg), self-proclaimed genius K. Roth Binew (Mike O’Connell) decides to go out in style following a terminal prognosis – staging a living wake.
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
Comedy201293 minsDirector: Pang Ho-Cheung
Ho-Cheung Pang's wild, ribald comedy about a Hong Kong movie producer who will do anything to get his projects off the ground.
For Love's Sake
Musical2012134 minsDirector: Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike's awesome riff on Romeo and Juliet, done as a pop musical stuffed with golden oldies from the 60s.
The Woodsman and the Rain
Comedy2011128 minsDirector: Shûichi Okita
A redneck lumberjack is recruited to work on a rookie producer's inane zombie movie, in this hilarious movie-making satire.
Marriage Italian Style
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.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
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.
Comedy1962204 minsDirector: Mario Monicelli
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 60’s society.
Who Loves the Sun
Comedy200694 minsDirector: Matt Bissonnette
Lukas Haas and Adam Scott play two old friends with a tempestuous history in this delightfully witty character comedy.
Comedy201391 minsDirector: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski’s hilarious and surreal comedy about the birth of computer culture, set in an early 1980s conference where primitive programmers take on chess masters.
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.
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.
Drama196571 minsDirector: Ivan Passer
This wonderfully subtle comedy of provincial life is the debut film of the great director Ivan Passer (Cutter's Way) and one of the signature works of the Czech New Wave.
Louise - Michel
Comedy200894 minsDirector: Benoît Delépine
French anarcho-surrealist directors de Ververn and Delépine (Aaltra) present this outré odd-couple comedy about a factory worker out for revenge and the inept hitman she bonds with.
The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque
Drama1993111 minsDirector: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's needle-sharp satire of a mayor whose plans to build a provincial arts centre are scuppered by a local teacher.
Comedy199399 minsDirector: Joe Dante
Joe Dante (Gremlins) directs this affectionate homage to 1950s sci-fi cinema, with John Goodman as a cigar-chomping B-movie producer trying to cash in on the Cuban missile crisis.
King of Escape
Comedy200990 minsDirector: Alain Guiraudie
A film about tractors, aphrodisiacs and forbidden love from Alain Guiraudie, the Cannes award-winning director of Stranger by the Lake.
The Saragossa Manuscript
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.
Comedy2010112 minsDirector: Yuya Ishii
Sawako tries to save her father's ailing clam-packing business, but it's an uphill struggle, in Yuya Ishii's joyous, nuanced, comic drama.
Comedy2011109 minsDirector: Yuya Ishii
An eccentric, pregnant young lady returns to her hometown to help her downtrodden old neighbours, in Yûya Ishii 's strange, whimsical comedy.
How to Use Guys with Secret Tips
Comedy2013115 minsDirector: Wonsuk Lee
This hyperkinetic Korean comedy for the #MeToo era follows Bo-na, a dorky girl lacking social skills, self-confidence or any shred of fashion sense. That is until she discovers a secret video manual called 'How to Use Men'...
Spanking the Monkey
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.
Period drama201492 minsDirector: Jessica Hausner
Jessica Hausner’s long-awaited follow-up to Lourdes is a devilish anti-Rom-Com in which German poet seeks mates for a suicide pact.
La Règle du jeu
Drama1939102 minsDirector: Jean Renoir
Renoir's depiction of an intransigent society teetering towards disaster was derided upon release and only later acclaimed as one of cinema’s most vital films.
Fun at St. Fanny's
Comedy195580 minsDirector: Maurice Elvey
Ronnie Corbett features in this quick-fire vintage classroom caper, featuring enough old jokes to fill a Christmas cracker factory.
Drama200796 minsDirector: Joanna Hogg
On a Tuscan break a fortysomething woman finds herself drawn to the company of a group of partying teens, including a young Tom Hiddleston (in one of his earliest roles).
A Change in the Weather
Drama201698 minsDirector: Jon Sanders
Jon Sanders’ delightfully peculiar, Southern France-set rumination on art and marriage finds Anna Mottram’s actor Lydia reconsidering her life with her demanding theatre director husband.
Comedy200794 minsDirector: Richard Bracewell
A highly original comedy following a pair of professional male escorts and their interactions with their lonely, over-50s 'regulars'.
Smiles of a Summer Night
Comedy1955109 minsDirector: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s Cannes prize-winning comedy assembles various couples in a country house in 1900.
The Machine that Kills Bad People
Comedy195284 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini's film about a photographer who is given the power to rid the Earth of 'evil-doers'.
The Master of the House
Drama1925107 minsSilentDirector: Carl Th. Dreyer
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners is by turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting.
Penny Points to Paradise
Comedy195172 minsDirector: Tony Young
The first screen outing for Goon Show stars Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe in a cheerful comic escapade set in Brighton.
The Slappiest Days of Our Lives
Comedy195373 minsDirector: Claude Accursi
A young Peter Sellers voices this compilation film of silent slapstick footage, featuring Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy.
Let's Go Crazy
Comedy195133 minsDirector: Alan J. Cullimore
Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan shine in a series of sketches and multiple roles, in this madcap mixture of music-hall and anarchic comedy.
Comedy191625 minsSilentDirector: Charles Chaplin
Formidable physical comedy is the order of the day in this dynamic Chaplin short, in which he plays a waiter running rings around an angry customer.
Comedy191724 minsSilentDirector: Charles Chaplin
One of Chaplin’s most famous early shorts finds the Little Tramp aboard a ship bound for America, mistakenly accused of being a pickpocket.
Behind the Screen
Comedy191624 minsSilentDirector: Charles Chaplin
Chaplin sends up the movie business itself, playing a scene-stealing actor, David, in constant conflict with a tyrannical studio boss called Goliath.