Category Archives: Comedy

From Goddess to Satanist – Making Mansfield 66/67

We talked to MANSFIELD 66/67 directors P.David Ebersole and Todd Hughes about their devilish documentary which spotlights the mysterious final years of Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield.

Jayne Mansfield and Anton LaVey

Jayne Mansfield and Anton LaVey

Jayne’s uneasy intersection with that moment of American history meshed perfectly with our common interests in people who live as outsiders, especially those who experience a questioning of faith and how that expands an acceptance of mans’ multiplicitous nature, be it expressed in sexually adventurous behaviour or non-traditional paths in life. All very heady thoughts when you are talking about an alleged affair between a woman known best for having the body measurements of 40-21-35 and a man who liked to wear plastic devil horns and a red cape to impress girls!

Together, for close to twenty years now, we have researched and collected Jayne and Anton literature and artifacts trying to piece together this mysterious story as a narrative feature script. But we found ourselves not very interested in the “simple” idea of making an exposé where we were might try to dig past the rumours and legends to expose the absolute truth, but rather found ourselves fascinated by creating a celebration of the storytellings and spectacles which have ingrained themselves into the lore and accepted truths of Hollywood Babylon. For instance, although it has been disproven many times, many people today still insist that Jayne Mansfield was decapitated, preferring to hold on to the gory hearsay in lieu of accepting the reported facts. Why? What is more interesting about that which may not be true but lives on in the collective unconscious?


Mansfield 66/67 Documentary

Mansfield 66/67 Documentary

First, we set out to interview subjects with not just first hand experience of either Jayne or Anton, but hopefully people who might hold deeper thoughts about either or both of them and/or their alleged relationship with each other. We reached out to find contemporaries who may or may not have been their colleagues, artists who expressed being influenced by one or the other, theorists and feminists who might have a take on it all, film scholars who could put their careers into context with each other, experts in Hollywood gossip — essentially a melting pot of people who could only comment on what they heard rather than who could, say, confirm the veracity of the stories being told.

On an artistic level, we felt that telling this as a “true story based on rumour and hearsay” required that we created our supporting material in the same vein. This is what inspired us to use what we call emotional dance numbers and experimental film and performance sketches to ruminate and try to understand the extraordinary circumstances which lead up to Jayne’s tragic death.

Directors P.David Ebersole and Todd Hughes at a Q&A screening of Mansfield 66/67.

Directors P.David Ebersole and Todd Hughes at a Q&A screening of Mansfield 66/67.

MANSFIELD 66/67 is available on DVD and On-Demand from the 25th June.  Read more here.

Drawing Gabrielle by writer/director Lisa Gornick

LG Behind the Scenes copy

What happens when a lesbian wants to be a man and then meets a man who makes her change her mind?

The Book of Gabrielle is a comedy about a woman who is writing a graphic book about sex. She meets Saul, an older novelist who also writes about sex and the writing of whom she absorbed since she was a child. He gets off on her being a lesbian, she wants to explore her inner man through him. Would they unblock each other or get in each other’s way?


All my three features are self-portraits but not autobiography. They’re drawings of who I am, not realistic photographs. So with this film I know I have a man within me. I also know that man has ways about him that I would detest in a real man. That’s the nub of the film in a way, exploring our inner men, even if they’re outrageous.
LG Drawing
The Book of Gabrielle is a lot about sex but with hardly any sex scenes. I am in a quandary about sex scenes. I’m not sure I like them but that makes me want to explore them. It’s such a sensitive, intimate thing to portray and it’s been done so terribly often by ridiculous men whose imagery I have to wash out from my head so I don’t take it to bed with me.

Alongside asking myself, who is my inner man, when I made this film, I was thinking about what a cinema is and also what watching a film is. Making a film is finite. You come to the final edit and you have to let it go. There’s something satisfying in that too. You can move on. But what if the film is made not in such a strict three-act-structure, narrative way? What if, like The Book of Gabrielle feature film, it’s a film that asks questions too, doesn’t tell you what to think.

I have a brain, a mind, a lifestyle even, that is hybrid and fluid. For most of my life so far, I’ve been told this isn’t right. You have to choose…but no, I think we are all more than just one path. We have our other lives that we sometimes dream of, yearn for, and I wanted to make a project that allowed me to do that. I draw, I perform, I make film. So I wanted a project that would let the ideas come and come out from various platforms.

I think the feature film is the kind of heavy rock at the centre of the piece. It’s a luscious grand thing. I can’t change it. The only people that can change it now are the audience who come to it and read their own lives and ideas into it.



Revealing the BODY ELECTRIC

Marcelo Caetano - dir

Director Marcelo Caetano

BODY ELECTRIC is a boudoir film. With each bed Elias lies in, a new universe opens from the narratives told by the characters. Bodies embracing and caressing each other, voices that speak softly and quietly, lovers who tell of their encounters, sexual adventures and dreams. My desire was to address love as something serial and repetitive, portraying a kind of affection that distances itself from romantic love and its already soiled conflicts.

H02A7898 - Back Cover Smaller Images

Elias loves in a lightly, solar and anarchic way. He is 23 years old, openly gay, a migrant from north-eastern Brazil. He uses each encounter to shape his personality by becoming a kind of human prism, capturing what he can from his partners. He changes his colour, and transitions between the masculine and the feminine. He can be a committed worker, but also a mocking anarchist. In this way, the film questions the socially established places for gay people, black people, immigrants, and workers. My aim is always to seek the individual, avoiding the discourse of identity that tries to capture and classify everybody.

Back Cover Small Image Auto colour corrected

BODY ELECTRIC is also a Bildungsroman. Elias comes into adulthood with great difficulty while trying to balance his personal pleasure with professional life. He is resistant to some conflicts simply because he does not believe in the high value that professional success and marital happiness have in our society.  For him it is necessary to grow on his journey. I love filming these encounters and I love them more, the more unlikely they are. Perhaps the film’s most prominent political face is resisting intolerance by building links between socially distant people.


The film is influenced by Walt Whitman’s poem I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC in which the American author celebrates the beauty of bodies, regardless of age, gender, colour and form. I was also very touched by cinema of the 60’s and 70’s, especially the relation between word and image that I found in the poetic cinema of Pasolini and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade. The choice of words and the strength of the narration are structural to me. This is how I found the way to speak of these bodies, this group of workers, and Elias is my spokesman: Like Scheherazade in ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, he recounts his adventures as if he wanted, by the seduction of the story, to postpone the end of his youth.

Marcelo Caetano


High Heels and High Kicks at Picturehouse Central

Picturehouse Central was host last Sunday to the most fabulous afternoon of glitter, sparkle and song. The Soho Premiere of Colin Rothbart’s DRESSED AS A GIRL was the final film to play the sparkly new West End venue in the current run of this year’s hugely successful POUTfest Tour (which also includes 52 TUESDAYS, A GIRL AT MY DOOR and SOFT LAD).

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Do you have Armandic syndrome? I hope so.

The great Napoleon - looking as if he won't quite make it out after pre-drinks.

The great Napoleon – looking as if he won’t quite make it out after pre-drinks.

Time for a brief history lesson. Last Thursday marked the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, where the brilliant Napoleon Bonaparte was finally undone (just sing the ABBA song in your head for the whole story – you probably already are). Defeated by Arthur Wellesly, better known as the 1st Duke of Wellington, on 18 June 1815, Napoleon was, for a time, Europe’s biggest name.

But ‘biggest’, perhaps, for all the wrong reasons. Since his defeat and subsequent exile to the bizarre, volcanic island of Saint Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, there has been persistent speculation on the reason for Napoleon’s perpetual strive for grandeur, fame, conquest and empire. The most touted answer: he was short.

Napoleonic complex, basically ‘angry little man’ complex, is something we’ve all encountered stood in the queue at Starbucks, Boots or in a theme park (why are they always stood in queues if they’re so easily enraged?) In honour of Napoleonic complex, and all those angry little men out there who secretly need a hug – we thought we’d come up with a new complex named after a misunderstood French guy – Armandic complex!

Armand is the central character in Alain Guiraudie’s (STRANGER BY THE LAKE) rowdy French sex comedy KING OF ESCAPE. In the film the squidgy, loveable tractor salesman Armand has a whole village of randy farmers fall in love with him, completely unwittingly. Everyone has that guy in their life, who’s maybe slightly overweight with a frumpy demeanour, who just doesn’t pick up on his own weird hotness. These are the Armands of the world – and we must cherish them – as the rise of Instagram is turning everyone into pouty-selfie-belfie-gym-monsters hell-bent on a photoshop surreality.

So – Armandic complex. Symptoms: being over-weight (squidgy), smelly (musty), lazy (loveable). Not realising how attractive you are. Frequent running into a forest with a youth. Excessive cravings for under-researched aphrodisiacs (watch the film).

Prescription: Ignore mirrors and beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. You are not. You are an Armand – stay true to your Armandic complex and, if you have time, have a quick look at the Battle of Waterloo’s page on Wikipedia and learn something, for god’s sake!


The great Armand – looking sexy, and up for anything, as ever.

Peccadillo’s Favourite Sundance Hits

“Sundance was started as a mechanism for the discovery of new voices and new talents” – Robert Redford

Even if you’ve never been to Sundance, but have been immersed in the chilling, and thought-provoking films that have come out of it, then you know what it stands for. You can discern its tastes, its independent, rough-around-the-edges sensibilities, and the fact that it’s actually not sunny but usually freezing cold. There’s that great episode of The Simpsons, where Lisa walks from screen to screen looking for a film to enjoy, but can only find films of heroin-addicted clowns slowly scratching their faces with needles. That’s Sundance.

In an industry that year-on-year seems to become even more polluted with inane blockbuster sequel-prequels-part-three of massive, sugary, cartoonish franchises, Sundance remains a rare beacon of hope for intelligent, socially observant and progressive film-making, shining defiantly in shivering Utah.

Two of our releases this year – Desiree Akhavan’s APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR and Sophie Hyde’s 52 TUESDAYS – are Sundance films. Desiree actually filmed the moment she told her mum she’d been accepted – which is well worth a watch. Here’s some of the festival’s biggest success stories – all with that irreverent, unmissable Sundance edge.


1. Blood Simple (1984)

Blood Simple copy

The Coen Brothers – regarded as the masters of Indie cinema – made their debut at the Sundance Film Festival with BLOOD SIMPLE. Their signature style of mixing comedic elements with a homage to the dark film noir genre surprised audiences and the Jury, which resulted in them winning the Grand Jury Prize and went on to gross around $4 million, not bad for a debut! Usually following a complex story which spirals into a cannon of lies, shock and laugh-out-loud moments, BLOOD SIMPLE looks at the story of a bar-owner out for revenge when he suspects his wife cheating on him. Like all Coen films, the film builds to an unforeseen and climatic ending! Be sure to also check out their cult classic FARGO (1996), and one of my favorites from the brothers: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007).


2. Run Lola Run (1998)

Run Lola Run

Breathless is the word to describe this film, literally! Watching Franke Potente run for her life in a race against time, she’s on a mission to obtain 100,000 Deutschmarks with an attempt to stop her boyfriend Manni from robbing a supermarket. The perfect fit for Sundance, with its edgy style of editing and pulsating rock soundtrack, the film is heavy in thematic explorations of free will and psychedelic trips into the unknown. With its unique mix of what ifs captured in a repetitious sequence of events, the film captures the very essence of an Independent Film Festival. You can imagine everyone running to see the film, hence the Audience Award won at the festival!

With a budget of DEM 3,500,000, the film went on to gross $8 million in the USA.


3. The Blair Witch Project (1999)


THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT became “the film to watch” before it had even hit Sundance! Directors, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez conducted a viral campaign in which they presented the film as a real documentary. Not being the first film to use found footage, the film is still regarded as one of the best hand-held camera horror films to date. The film mixes styles of amateur acting against believable footage it paved way for the many horror films which followed using these techniques. During Sundance, the filmmakers distributed flyers asking people to come forward with any information regarding the whereabouts of the “missing” students – talk about creating buzz!

The film became the success story of 1999, making $248 million worldwide. Not a bad return on a budget of an estimated $60,000!


 4Memento (2001)  


Before he became an A-list director of thinking-person’s blockbusters like the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, director Christopher Nolan grabbed Hollywood’s attention with the ingenious thriller Memento – a story told in reverse about a man with a form of amnesia that prevented him from making any new memories.

It landed at Sundance 2001, where American distributors expressed admiration for the film but were reluctant to buy it, claiming it was too confusing. The film ended up being distributed by its studio, Newmarket Films, and went on to earn $40 million. It won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Awards, but ultimately lost the Grand Jury Prize to The Believer, – which introduced the world to Ryan Gosling.


 5. Saw (2004)


A lot can be said about the SAW franchise (not always positive), but we cannot forget director James Wan’s first SAW, as an entry into the serial killer, slasher genre. Using the tired mechanism of a masked clown serial killer, the film still holds as an intense gore infested story of survival, which pleased horror fans after every screening was sold out. It didn’t take long for Lionsgate at Sundance to pick it up before the film had even premiered. A smart move, the film went on to generate a cult following over the years and has made over $100 million worldwide, and six sequels followed. Unfortunately most of them fall into the Hollywood horror slush of pop-corn entertainment!


6. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


In a huge bidding war, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE resulted in Fox purchasing the rights to the film in one of the biggest deals made in the history of the festival of $10.5 million. After numerous standing ovations from the audience, the film went on to gross more than $100 million worldwide. A road movie based on a dysfunctional family, who are determined to take their youngest daughter  to compete in a beauty contest on the other side of the country – all inside a Volkswagen T2 Micro Bus. Its not difficult to be sweetened by Abigail Breslin’s performance of Olive. We can’t help but relate to the dysfunctional family and the feelings one gets when positioned in a place of “not-belonging”. It is a fresh take on a family, which seems to get ignored due to the numerous fluffy “perfect family” types constantly being pumped out by Hollywood. For that year, Little Miss Sunshine brought out the sun in a usually cold and dark Utah! Even though it didn’t win an award at Sundance, the film continued to bag countless awards including a pair of Oscars for writer Michael Arndt and actor Alan Arkin.


7. Man On Wire (2008)


One man, one wire, one goal! This intense and nerve-shredding film, captures an eerily, yet beautiful portrait of Philippe Petit’s attempt to walk on a wire from one tower of the World Trade Center to the other in 1974. While one can see why the audience were impressed and shocked at the same time, festivalgoers awarded the film both the Jury and Audience awards in the World Cinema Documentary category. The film plays like an action film, yet poised with a surreal touch of artistic achievement, traversing sky high without safety, an astounding stunt that would put some of Hollywood’s big action stars to shame!

The awards kept coming, as the film won the prestigious double-header of both BAFTA and Oscar and made a worldwide gross of $5,617,067.


8. Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012)


Carried forth by non-actors and a real Louisiana community, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD became a success when the film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Excellence in Cinematography Award. Hushpuppy, a six year old girl part of the Bayou community in Louisiana, finds herself on a journey of poetic discovery, in which she must accept nature’s path and the unraveling mysteries of the universe. As the ice caps melt, and the water rises, she and the small town are faced with an army of pre-historic creatures named Aurochs. Beautifully shot in surreal like landscapes and the town known as Bathtub; the film starts of as a documentation of the struggles of a young orphan girl in a town in danger of being wiped out due to global-warming. The film then switches to an almost post-apocalyptic struggle of storms, rising waters and terrifying creatures. The film received four Oscar-nominations, including one for child star Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest ever nominee in the Best Actress category – at just nine years of age.


9. Appropriate Behaviour (2014)


Our own, proud little piece of Sundance history is Desiree Akhavan’s understated and unequivocally brilliant APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR. A sleeper festival hit, but a slam with the UK critics and audiences, this upbeat but devastatingly realistic indie comedy is Sundance through and through and demonstrates how the festival – although many bemoan its pandering to the studios – maintains and upholds its original mission of nurturing new talent.

10. 52 Tuesdays (2014)


Sophie Hyde’s film won Best Director at Sundance, and will be in UK cinemas from us later this summer. 52 TUESDAYS explores the intimate story of a mother-daughter relationship, as Billie’s mother reveals plans towards gender transition. Filmed over the course of a year, once a week, every week – only on Tuesdays, shows a unique style in filmmaking that brings a rare authenticity to this emotionally charged story of desire, responsibility and transformation.

As the world is slowly moving in the right direction towards equality, it is films like this that offer a beautiful insight into a topic many are unaware of and highlight the positive change that is happening in the world. Look out for 52 TUESDAYS coming to cinemas later this summer!

Do-root? The 6 weirdest aphrodisiacs from around the world

Has a chubby man in a forest ever offered you a strange mandrake like plant and called it ‘do-root’? Did you take it only to find it was some sort of natural Viagra? Did the whole town you grew up in then take it, and then collectively decide they fancy the pants off you, chasing you out of town in a Bacchic frenzy of flailing limbs and other members?

Armand and Curly: fools in love?

Armand and Curly: fools in love?

Well – exactly this happens in KING OF ESCAPE – the feature film from STRANGER BY THE LAKE director Alain Guiraudie. It’s hilarious. And terrifying. But mainly hilarious. As an ode to this weird natural aphrodisiac, we thought we’d run down some of the weirdest aphrodisiacs around the world: would any of these get you going?

1. Cobra Blood

It's a thing.

Yup. It’s a thing.

According to some men in China – and other parts of Asia – drinking Cobra blood is the equivalent of switching on a sexy lava lamp and the latest XX album.

2. Wine-soaked water lilies

Remind you of anything?

Remind you of anything?

Ok – admittedly this one stems from Ancient Egypt and so I don’t think you’re going to walk into a Tinder-date’s flat to find him/her soaking their lilies anytime soon. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not a neat reflection of some of our modern dating techniques, how different is it from a bouquet of Co-op flowers and some Blossom Hill?

3. Eels

This makes me uncomfortable.

This makes me uncomfortable.

These are large wiggly things that emit a gross slimy substance when touched. Enough said.

4. Sea cucumbers

Irrefutably terrifying.

Irrefutably terrifying.

These are disgusting aliens which crawl along the sea floor in the far east and consume food with their anus. But hey – who am I to judge? Kahloon (one of the director’s at Peccadillo) assures me these are delicious and ‘very good for your knees’. I have my suspicions.

5. Ambergris

Nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom.

Doesn’t Ambergris sound like a delicious, nectar like drink you might find in the South of France, being supped from chalices by beautiful, frisky socialites? Well, it’s not. It’s actually a hard, faecal-smelling substance scraped from the intestines of sperm whales and then bottled into expensive perfumes. That’s right; we live in a world where sperm whale poo is sexy.

6. Asses’ Milk

This guy likes it.

This guy likes it.

Shut your mind, this is the milk of a donkey, and nothing else. In ancient Arabia and Rome women would rub asses milk onto their genitals as a stimulus, and, if you’ve ever heard that myth of Roman Emporer Nero’s wife taking baths in milk, it was in asses milk, for sexy reasons.

I think finishing on Asses’ Milk is always a good call. So there we have it – my top 6 picks of weird aphrodisiacs from around the world. Just FYI, I have a really weird thing about fresh orange juice. If I’m ever drinking it around you, you don’t want to know what I’m thinking.

KING OF ESCAPE is released on DVD on March 23.

KING OF ESCAPE is released on DVD on March 23.

We need more selfish female protagonists – Desiree Akhavan and International Women’s Day

ab international womens day

Belle du jour Desiree Akhavan has taken the UK press by storm this week – popping up in The Times, The Guardian and The Evening Standard. Her film APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR has garnered a smattering of rave reviews, but today we want to celebrate the woman herself. If you didn’t know, 8 March is International Women’s Day the theme of which for 2015 is Make It Happen. 

This couldn’t ring more apt for Desiree, or her producer Cecilia Frugiuele,  who together raised the finance, produced, wrote, directed and starred in this fantastic film. APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR refuses to be a lecture, in interviews Desiree has frequently vented her frustrations at politically edged movies that feel like ‘taking your medicine’. If this film is medicine, it’s Calpol when you’re 12 years old and you simply cannot get enough.

But enough for me, here are some fantastic words from Desiree herself on female characters and filmmakers in the contemporary scene:

Over the years in films we’ve had so many men be flawed, multi-dimensional characters who can be mature in some venues and fall apart in others, and the women are just there rolling their eyes and supporting them.

But when I look around at the films that are coming out now by female directors we’re seeing women characters go through a stunted adolescence where they’re able to fuck up just as much as any dude would.

I hear about this “new wave” of slacker female films and I think it’s just women getting the opportunity to tell stories. I’m not ashamed to talk openly about my flaws like what, only Wood Allen gets to do that?

– Desiree Akhavan

Why We Are Doing This: APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR – From Peccadillo MD


Peccadillo MD – Tom Abell

Out of the hundreds of American independent films that are made each year, how do you take just one and make it a box office success in the UK and the ROI? It’s much harder than it sounds.

Cecilia Frugiuele the producer of APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR approached us four years ago with a project (it had a different title then – we’re forbidden to mention the old name!) which was loosely based on a web series made by and starring Desiree Akhavan called THE SLOPE, where Desiree played one half of a superficial, homophobic lesbian couple. The web series is extremely funny, Desiree was simply fabulous and so was the film script, Peccadillo Pictures was definitely on board.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR premiered in Sundance January 2014 and we finally saw it during the Berlin Film Festival in February 2014, the film was simply a breath of fresh air that blew away the winter cobwebs along with all the competition. We were in love. But how do we bring our love of the film to the UK and Republic of Ireland and make all of you love it too?

After meeting Desiree during last year’s London Film Festival the answer was clear, the only way to market the film effectively was to show the rest of you how amazing Desiree is. We needed to make all of the British Isles love her too. And how do we do that when nobody knows who she is?

When you don’t have millions of pounds to spend on a marketing and publicity campaign it comes down to good old determination and perseverance from our team mixed with Desiree’s natural charm.  Very early on there were publicity references to Lena Dunham and GIRLS and comparisons to FRANCIS HA and to a smaller degree ANNIE HALL. We had to play to all of these in order to get initial press interest; it is so difficult to get the establishment to embrace something new, but if it sounds like something they already like they’re more likely to take a look.

Once we had their attention the next step was to take Desiree and the film beyond the comparisons and allow the press to “discover” something new. And in the months following the LFF that’s what started to happen. The realisation struck that Desiree and the film were none of the above, that they were very much their own entities and there was a brand new talent here with a unique, subtle voice that demanded to be heard.

Ladies and gentlemen, a star is born.

Some Notes On the American Female Comedian

The unbearable awkwardness of bra shopping.

Is it just me or is all comedy in the UK a bit pale, male and stale? Whilst Americans have a plethora of hilarious and intelligent female comedians making movies, writing sketches, hosting awards shows and doing stand up, on the greyer side of the pond we’re lumbered with a bunch of belligerent blokes making only each other guffaw on tired panel show after tired panel show.

You can often find the British sneering at American culture, calling it vulgar, brash, loud or annoying, but, as an experiment, compare Obvious Child, Frances Ha or The Skeleton Twins with any episode of any UK panel show. In the former, you’ll find compelling, strong-willed and sympathetic female characters (who’ve often written the films themselves, or at least another female has): the latter will feature 5 braying men and 1 woman and she’ll often just spend the entire 30 minutes rolling her eyes at the boys’ barrel-scraping UKIP-joke twaddle.

Parks and Recreation finished in America the other night. As I’m here in the UK, I obviously haven’t yet had a chance to see it, but for the love of god I love that show. Leslie Knope and her small-town box of misfits have made me laugh and cry simultaneously in most episodes, and Amy Poehler single-handedly carried the show from its small beginnings to its end. The debate isn’t, as it seems to be in the UK, are women funny?, but rather just how funny/brilliant/heart-warming/moving are women on screen – small or silver – when compared to men. A hell of a lot more.

Recent massive US comedies: Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, Lena Dunham’s Girls, Parks and Recreation, SNL. All female led, all acerbically demonstrating that ‘female-led’ doesn’t have to mean anything at all, except perhaps ‘much, much better’. Recent massive UK comedies: … Derek? I genuinely can’t think of anything else, and Derek, compared to The Office or Extras, was pretty poor.

Next week we have the absolute pleasure of releasing Desiree Akhavan’s APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR in the UK. Without wanting to shout about how this is yet more proof of the US’s gargantuan outstripping of the UK when it comes to funny women on screen, I will say this: as writer, director and star of the film, at a time when making a film is becoming more and more difficult, let alone making it brilliant, and not one of this year’s director nominations at the Oscars went to a woman, this film is a staggering achievement. Akhavan is an Iranian female making movies in a sea of white men: that in itself is to be commended.

I’m writing this as she’s about to hit the UK tomorrow to start her Q&A cinema tour (not to mention a silly amount of press), and I’m hoping, hoping, that some of that wonderful female funny will rub off on our pale, male, stale comedy culture.

Will C-H, 27th Feb 2015.