In these grave times of austerity, everyone deserves a good laugh. This weekend, the LOCO Film Festival returns to the capital city with a fantastic programme featuring UK film premieres, stand up comedy, and the finest brainboxes in the business providing some industry insight in panel discussions.
To find out more about this fantastic, not-for-profit festival and organisation, check out our interview with co-founder and programmer Jonathan Wakeham. Here’s our pick of the comedy crop, with four LOCO events that will warm your cockles amongst all this stinking, wintry weather.
Opening Night Preview: A Liar’s Autobiography (Thursday 24th Jan 20.30 NFT1, BFI Southbank)
LOCO kicks off in valiantly British style, with a special screening of this animated Monty Python biopic. Chronicling the Life of Jesus Brian Graham Chapman, the typically absurd documentary is followed by a discussion considering the Pythons everlasting impact on British comedy and beyond. Guest panelists include The Thick of It’s Rebecca Front, eccentric Canadian comic Tony Law and Ben Farrell, Head of Comedy at Objective Productions (you know, those bigwigs who make Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and the like). All that, plus free entry to an exhibition compiling lots of production stills from the making of this essential comedy homage of a movie.
Tickets are extremely limited, so be sure to bag yours as soon as you can. Remember to leave your dead parrots at home; the BFI are extremely strict about that. LR
Kickstarting Your Comedy Career (24/25 January, 9am-6pm, BFI Southbank)
One of LOCO’s chief aims is to provide support and advice to aspiring young comics. The spicy meatball in LOCO 2013’s Training programme is a full day course encouraging collaboration and the exchange of ideas and advice, featuring contributors from production companies Warp Films and Sony Pictures, as well as writers Matt Lipsey and Dan O’Rourke. Just think of writing comedy like making meatballs; let talented peers bring the herbs and seasonings to your ground beef! RP
UK Premiere: Klown Friday 25th Jan, 18.30, BFI Southbank
While I wasn’t totally enamored with the TV series, the movie spin-off of the cult Danish comedy Klown doesn’t disappoint. It’s got all the typically bleak and sinister humour that you’d expect from Scandinavia, a bastardised mixture of Curb Your Enthusiasm awkwardness and Sideways’ mid-life crisis angst. Audacious and morally corrupt; Hamlet would be spinning on his sword. LR
Working Women (26th January, 9am-6pm, BFI Southbank)
The mercurial Julia Davis, whose body of work was stupendously fine even before the addition of last year’s uniquely eery period series Hunderby, will be in conversation with Lucy Lumsden, head of comedy at Sky. The day will be rounded out by a screening of the wonderful Julie Delphy’s film Le Skylab, and a performance by Peep Show star and known ulnar nerve-botherer Isy Sutie. Ulnar nerve is the technical name for the funny bone, duh! RP
To book tickets to all of these events, and then some, go right here.