Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1964, Stanley Kubrick
“Survival kit contents check. In them you’ll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.”
Ostre sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains)
1966, Jirí Menzel
Based on Bohumil Hrabal’s equally brilliant novel, this is the best guide on what to do in case of 1. war, 2. sexual frustration, 3. workplace boredom.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask
1972, Woody Allen
“I don’t know if you’ve read my book, “Advanced Sexual Positions: How to Achieve Them Without Laughing.”
“Before you know it, the Renaissance will be here and we’ll all be painting.”
“Hi Milord! You remember when you said if I was ever in town, I should look up your wife?”
1973, Woody Allen
“I’m what you would call a teleological, existential atheist. I believe that there’s an intelligence to the universe, with the exception of certain parts of New Jersey.”
“I think we should have had sex, but there weren’t enough people.”
“Sex and death – two things that come once in a lifetime… but at least after death, you’re not nauseous.”
“When I asked my mother where babies came from, she thought I said “rabies.” She said you get them from being bitten by a dog. The next week, a woman on my block gave birth to triplets… I thought she’d been bitten by a great dane.”
“-Perform sex? Uh, uh, I don’t think I’m up to a performance, but I’ll rehearse with you, if you like.
–Okay. I just thought you might want to; they have a machine here.
–Machine? I’m not getting into that thing. I, I’m strictly a hand operator; you know, I, I… I don’t like anything with moving parts that are not my own.”
“This was Josef Stalin. He was a communist, I was not too crazy about him, had a bad mustache, lot of bad habits. This is Bela Lugosi. he was, he was the mayor of New York city for a while, you can see what it did to him there, you know. This is, uhm, this is, uh, Charles DeGaulle, he, he was a very famous French chef, had his own television show, showed you how to make souflets and omelettes and everything.”
“An old girlfriend from the village. A Trotskyite, who became a Jesus freak, and was arrested for selling pornographic connect-the-dot books.”
This is my all time favourite trailer:
1979, Woody Allen
“I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics.”
“I finally had an orgasm, and my doctor said it was the wrong kind.”
“Years ago I wrote this short story about my Mother called “The Castrating Zionist”
“They probably sit around on the floor with wine and cheese, and mispronounce allegorical and didacticism.”
The Purple Rose of Cairo
1985, Woody Allen
“I just met a wonderful new man. He’s fictional but you can’t have everything.”
“-I want to go too! I wanna be free! I want out!
–I’m warning you, that’s Communist talk!”
1997, Woody Allen
“-You have no values. With you its all nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm, and orgasm.
–Hey, in France I could run for office with that slogan, and win!”
The most important words in the English language are not “I love you” but “It’s benign.”
“Between air conditioning and the Pope, I chose air conditioning.”
“-Do you care even about the holocaust, or do you think it never happened? -Not only do I know that we lost 6 million, but the scary thing is that records are made to be broken.”
And I could go on and on with Woody Allen…Basically anything he made till the turn of the century belongs on this list…But you have to be careful after that.
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)
1988, Pedro Almodóvar
“I’m fed up. I’m gonna get myself some quick cash, buy myself his bike and split. With a bike, who needs a man?
Learning mechanics is easier than learning male psychology. You can figure out a bike, but you can never figure out a man.”
2006, Gustave de Kervern, Benoît Delépine
This is a surrealistic gem feturing zoo-keepers and a fat Venus, by the makers of my other big favorite, Aaltra.
Azuloscurocasinegro (Dark BLue Almost Black)
2006, Daniel Sánchez Arévalo
Almodovar could have made this. But he didn’t.
Adams æbler (Adam’s Apples)
2005, Anders Thomas Jensen
A delusional priest who takes positive thinking to perverted levels, a neo-Nazi who wants to bake a pie, an alcoholic sex-addict and … still, not just a joke but a witty, well-written, solid story and the most brilliant performances. This, and The Green Butchers, also by Jensen, are without doubt the best Danish comedies.
2006, Joachim Trier
The name is just a coincidence, this a Norwegian film about two aspiring young writers and their troubles in life.
Voksne mennesker (Dark Horse)
2005, Dagur Kári
A dyslexic tattoo artist and his wannabe football referee friend who works at a sleep-study clinic meet a charmingly strange girl and thus deliver a clever, sensitive and hilarious story. This is a Danish production combined with an Icelandic director (who also directed Noi, albinoi), so what could go wrong? Absolutel nothing, this is as good as it gets.
Kunsten å tenke negativt (The Art of Negative Thinking)
A disability support group functioning on the principles of positive thinking learns a valuable lesson in negative thinking from a guy unwilling to settle for fake contentment. This film is the prime example of low-budget and high-quality. So low-budget that I could’t find a trailer with subtitles. So those of you who don’t speek Norwegian…just trust me on this one.
Survive Style 5+
2004, Gen Sekiguchi
A man desperately trying to murder his wife is (literary) thrown by the fact that she just refuses to stay dead. Thus, the question emerges: “What’s your function in life?”
Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy
Unique in style and humor, this is the Belgian trio’s first masterpiece of comedy based on bodily movement and absurdity. It was followed by the equally brilliant Rumba.
Hjemve (Just Like Home)
2007, Lone Schefrig
This is a story of a small town with characters you would only encounter in Danish films, but that make you relate instantly to all their weird problems. Again, no English trailer.
The Men Who Stare at Goats
2009, Grant Heslov
“-It’s ok, you can “attack” me…
–What’s with the quotation fingers? It’s like saying I’m only capable of ironic attacking or something.”
“But I could hear the little man inside me again. He was screaming like a little girl.”
“We can’t afford to have the Russian’s leading the field in the paranormal.”
Directøren for det hele (The Boss of it All)
2006, Lars von Trier
Von Trier’s attempt to make comedy…It’s not bad, but surely not his best feature. The actors save it, though.
And, of course, there are many more which I don’t remember now or I already put on other lists because they are just so good that they belong on all the lists. For example:
Life of Brian – Without a shred of doubt the funniest film ever made.
Italian for Beginners – The funniest Dogma.
Kukushka – The funniest film based on missunderstandings.
And then there’s Rumba, The Green Butchers, Aaltra …