31st Mar2020

Interview: Stuart Urban on his “5 Great Black Comedies”

by Stuart Wright

In his latest podcast/interview, host and screenwriter Stuart Wright talks with film and TV director Stuart Urban as he discusses his picks of 5 Great Black Comedies, including:

kind-hearts

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D’Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Dr Strangelove (1964)

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

The King Of Comedy (1982)

Rupert Pupkin is obsessed with becoming a comedy great. However, when he confronts his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford, with a plea to perform on the Jerry’s show, he is only given the run-around. He does not give up, however, but persists in stalking Jerry until he gets what he wants. Eventually he must team up with his psychotic Langford-obsessed friend Masha to kidnap the talk show host in hopes of finally getting to perform his stand-up routine.

Withnail & I(1987)

London, 1969 – two ‘resting’ (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their squalid Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside, courtesy of Withnail’s uncle Monty’s country cottage. But when they get there, it rains non-stop, there’s no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited. Matters are not helped by the arrival of Uncle Monty, who shows an uncomfortably keen interest in Marwood

Four Lions (2010)

Four Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that-while terrorism is about ideology-it can also be about idiot

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