Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This Is Spinal Tap named top comedy film

This Is Spinal Tap has been named the best comedy movie of all time in a survey of comedic and film professionals conducted by Time Out London.

The 1984 cult classic, directed by Rob Reiner, took top spot over films like “Airplane!,” “Monty Python’s Life Of Brian,” “Annie Hall” and “Groundhog Day.”

The site surveyed more than 200 comedy writers, comedy directors, comic actors and stand-up comedians – including Dan Ackroyd, Richard Curtis, Edgar Wright, Kim Noble, Stephen Merchant, Jo Brand and many, many more – and asked them to share their favourite comedy films of all time.

“They may have spent years floundering in mid-chart obscurity, but The Tap have finally made it to number one,” writes TimeOutLondon film critic David Jenkins. “‘This Is Spinal Tap’ is, of course, a bogus ‘rockumentary’ in which indefatigable commercials director Marti DeBergi (Reiner) takes it on himself to monitor the corroding relationships between three members of a has-been hair metal band from London as they tour the US with their grotesque new LP, ‘Smell the Glove.’

“The core band line-up (those who haven’t fallen foul of spontaneous combustion) is Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel on lead, Michael McKean as David St. Hubbins, also on guitar, and Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls on bass,” continues Jenkins. “They pride themselves on exuberance, raw power and punctuality, but they’re also baffled by the mysteries of the cosmos: the geometry of sandwiches, the correct way to the stage door and the difference between feet and inches.”

“It’s sublimely funny and sharp – a comedy built for the long haul which matures with each viewing. It’s so perfectly constructed and performed, the characters so rich and realistic, that it’s initially a challenge to determine the dividing line between reality and fiction. The film doesn’t have any ‘jokes’, per se, but the humour is derived from a pile-up of non-sequiturs, loopy proclamations and painfully spot-on observations, all delivered in implausibly effete cockney accents.”

“But the thing that pushes ‘Spinal Tap’ ahead of the pack is what a radical and immaculately crafted piece of cinema it is. Gags are built around deadpan edits and dialogue pauses rather than slick punchlines. As funny as the hallowed scene in which Nigel boasts of his custom made Marshall amps that go up to 11 (it’s one louder), you wonder if it would have been as brilliant had the exchange gone on just a second longer. It cuts off at the exact point where nothing more needs saying.”

Top 100 Best Comedy Movies
As surveyed by TimeOutLondon
Top 10

01. This Is Spinal Tap
02. Airplane!
03. Monty Python's Life Of Brian
04. Annie Hall
05. Monty Python And The Holy Grail
06. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
07. Withnail And I
08. Groundhog Day
09. Some Like It Hot
10. The Jerk

To see the full list, click here.

To see each contributor’s list, click here.

This Is Spinal Tap – “the funny bits”

Spinal Tap Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap – Stonehenge