14 June 2024

Comedy at BFI London Film Festival 2014

Susan Sarandon in Ping Pong Summer

The BFI London Film Festival is happening on the 8th – 19th October at venues across the city. In the latest of our BFI London Film Festival preview posts,  we give our recommendations from the Laugh strand of the festival programme.  Read on to find out what comedies picks we recommend you check out at the festival.


Appropriate Behaviour

Yes another Brooklyn girl centred comedy, it’s starting to feel like you can’t make a smart female comedy without it being set in Brooklyn! This is the debut feature length film of writer/director/actor Desiree Akhavan who no doubt will garner Lena Dunham comparisons, however there is always room for more smart, relatable comedy from a female perspective so I’m in no way complaining. Akhavan also brings in her Persian background and lesbian tendencies to add a different dimension to the Brooklyn girl humour which she honed in webseries The Slope.


Dear White People

Another feature-length debut, this time from Director Justin Simien. Dear White People is about black people in Ivy League Winchester College. A smart take on the college comedy harking back to the early Spike Lee comedies such as School Daze, the film explores racial identity in a ‘post-racial’ America.  It also looks dead funny from the trailer and stars Tessa Thompson who was great in Veronica Mars and Teyonah Parris who was fantastic as the ‘sassy’ friend in They Came Together.


Listen Up Philip

It seems like Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) is in everything at the moment, she’s even on buses advertising the GAP! Here she is alongside Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) and the gorgeous Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad, Veronica Mars) in this new film by Alex Ross Perry. Schwartzman plays Philip a prominent but self obsessed author who finds it difficult to connect with people, a role that one can only imagine he will play will aplomb. We don’t know much about the plot apart from people really want him to successfully promote his second novel as well as erm, listen up!


Night Bus

From girls on buses to actual buses… A British comedy added to the mix, following something which is close to Londoners hearts, the night bus.  This debut feature from Simon Baker follows a night bus as it winds it way through London and the conversations it creates showing a snapshot of London life.  We all have those ‘can’t believe it’s true’ night bus stories so lets hope it doesn’t disappoint!


Ping Pong Summer

It sounds like the best dream ever having Susan Sarandon as your ping pong coach and lucky lucky Rad Miracle (great name! played by newcomer Marcello Conte) that’s what he gets in this 80’s ping pong hip-hop comedy.  Watch Sarandon still look classy whilst barking orders and drinking the biggest beer ever in the trailer below.  The film has a stellar supporting cast including Amy Sedaris (Strangers With Candy, Elf), Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, American Splendour), John Hannah (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Lea Thompson (Back To The Future, Howard The Duck)  so should hopefully not disappoint.  A summer coming of age comedy, perhaps a funnier The Way Way Back?

View the full Laugh programme here.

BFI London Film Festival tickets go on sale on 18th September (11th September to BFI Members)  Tickets are available from the BFI London Film Festival website.

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