The LOCO film festival is a celebration, not only of film, but of all forms of comedy out there. Now in its fourth year, the current schedule is a comprehensive show-reel of comedy screenings that stretches into satire, sex and sci-fi.
Though it's only four days long, LOCO also includes a number of notable events as well as films. Whether it's a quiz on social class, a panel discussion on music videos, or a specially-curated selection of silent comedy, there's plenty for all tastes. A thorough rummage through the programme is recommended. In order to help you find your bearings, here's a selection of new films we like the look of.
Lost in Karastan
LOCO starts in Soviet style with former spook Matthew Macfadyen playing a luckless film director travelling to an 'anonymous republic' from the old USSR. Delighted to be an honoured guest, it doesn't occur to him that his services may not be desired for his artistic skills until finally it dawns on him that he's there to create a documentary of Pravda-like propaganda for the dictatorship's president.
Thursday, 22 January, 6.15pm, BFI Southbank, £16 (£12).
Farewell to the Moon
Should all that Cold War make you want to come in from the cold, there's something altogether steamier later in the evening. In Farewell to the Moon, it's the summer of 1972 and there's a sexual revolution in the Netherlands — a once sedate apartment block is now home to a band of saucy swingers. But the film is not so much a ribald romp as a comedy-drama that explores darker themes than the logline might suggest.
Thursday, 22 January, 8.40pm, BFI Southbank, £16 (£12)
The Infinite Man
Anniversaries and special occasions often bring out the old anxiety of wanting everything to be just right. But in this Australian sci-fi and rom-com crossover, an unhappy scientist with time-travel on his hands, decides to solve his relationship woes by repeating the happiest moments he and his girlfriend enjoyed together. Everything goes swimmingly until her ex-lover rocks up.
Friday, 23 January, 6.30pm, BFI Southbank, £16 (£12)
Call-centre worker Štěpán leads a listless life until he falls in love with Marie — one of his callers. Despite providing Štěpán with motivation to improve himself with keep fit and language learning, Marie proves elusive. And what starts as a rom-com opens out into a road movie as he sets off in pursuit of his enchantress.
Friday, 23 January, 8.30pm, £16 (£12)
The Bubonic Play
Meanwhile, in Medieval England, Lord George of Ponsonby has fallen for his maid Mathilde. Alas, she prefers a handsome minstrel (played by Matthew Baynton from The Wrong Mans). The consequent chase takes place over a plague-infested countryside and — we're sure — doesn't end well. It's a debut feature for director Cal McCrystal, whose impressive CV as a physical comedy consultant lists One Man, Two Guvnors, The World's End, The Dictator and Paddington.
Saturday, 24 January, 6.10pm, £16 (£12)
The LOCO Film Festival runs 22-25 January with the majority of screenings — and all of the above — at BFI Southbank. Ticket prices are as displayed. However, the full programme including many educational, networking and social events can be viewed at the LOCO Film Festival website.