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Film

Eric Andre's five favourite films of all time

Eric Andre’s surreal and experimental brand of humour has been a staple of late night American television since the introduction of The Eric Andre Show in 2012 to Adult Swim. However, Andre’s career in comedy began all the way back in 2003 when the now-39-year-old began performing stand-up. Since then, the music graduate (he also has a musical side project called Blarf) has starred in comedies such as 2 Broke Girls, Don’t Trust the B—– in Apartment 23, Man Seeking Woman, Robot Chicken, and Impractical Jokers.

The Eric Andre Show is known for its blend of black comedy, shock humour, anti-humour, pranks, and surrealism, with Andre even dubbing series 4 as the “dystopian Eraserhead season”. With Andre behind the writing, executive production, and also presenting the show, the bizarre segments are mainly his brainchild. Therefore, it is no surprise that when discussing his favourite films, his list is a glorious concoction of comedy that undoubtedly influenced his own, and also highly regarded works of filmmaking from greats such as Stanley Kubrick.

Talking to Rotten Tomatoes, Andre said: “I know you only asked for five and I’m giving you, like, 15, but this is very hard for me.” The film buff eventually narrowed down his favourites to five, listing an eclectic mixture. Firstly, he notes how defining it was to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, stating: “When I first saw Borat at 22 years old in the theater, that’s the hardest I ever laughed in a movie theater. Hardest ever. That and Jackass, all of the Jackass movies. That was like, primal, caveman laughter.” Luckily for Andre, he has since starred in Jackass Forever and Jackass 4.5 this year, as well as gaining writing credits for both. Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat character undoubtedly influenced Andre’s style of comedy – both interviewing unsuspecting members of the public and taking on comedic personas.

Another film that has had a huge influence on Andre’s comedic style is UHF, starring Weird Al Yankovic, who also wrote the script alongside his manager and the film’s director, Jay Levey. Despite Andre’s love for the comedy, it was a financial failure. However, it has now become a cult favourite. Discussing the film, Andre said: “UHF was the first, like, screwball comedy I ever saw in a theatre when I was five years old. And that’s one of my favourite genres. It’s a lost art. They don’t do it anymore. Those movies always got really harsh criticism.” Admiring the sheer dedication to comedy that the film promotes, he says: “Every single shot is a gag. To have that many jokes per square inch is a feat. I think those movies were always thrown under the bus by critics, unfairly I think. They age like a fine wine.”

Next, Andre lists Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain as one of his favourites, labelling it as “the most creative movie” he’s ever seen and “a psychedelic masterpiece”. Detailing further, he says: “I’ve just never seen anything like it. It’s completely insane. I actually had the fortune of getting my Tarot read by the director recently at his apartment in Paris. He’s pushing 90 and he gave me a psychomagic prescription and he read my tarot. It was kind of one of the best moments of my entire life.” The Holy Mountain, released in 1973, is a surreal fantasy that sees director Jodorowsky play an alchemist who leads a Christ-like figure alongside disciples to the so-called holy mountain, partaking in many transformative rituals along the way.

Brazilian crime epic City of God is Andre’s next choice, co-directed by Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles. Released in 2002, City of God is now considered one of the greatest films of all time, with iconic filmmakers such as Robert Altman (whose work influenced Meirelles) saying: “It’s so courageous, so truthful. I think it’s the best picture I’ve ever seen.” Similarly, Andre described it as “some of the best filmmaking I’ve ever seen.”

Continuing, he said: “I think the term is docu-narrative, where you cast non-actors — what the Safdie brothers called ‘street casting’, which is my favorite term. I think it’s like the modern day Battle of Algiers in a weird way, which is also one of the best movies of all time. Its plot isn’t the same. It just feels totally the same.”

Eric Andre’s five favourite films:

  • Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Larry Charles, 2006)
  • UHF (Jay Levey, 1989)
  • The Holy Mountain (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973)
  • City of God (Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, 2002)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

Finally, Andre lists one of the most breathtaking and influential films of all time – 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick’s masterpiece of science fiction is filmmaking at its peak, so it’s no surprise that Andre has it listed as one of his favourites. “There’s scenes in that movie I can watch every day for the rest of my life. It’s one of those movies. And the special effects — there’s things that Kubrick did in that movie, to this day, that George Lucas and Spielberg are like, ‘I don’t know how he did that! I don’t know how he did these!’ He’s like the greatest David Copperfield. He’s the greatest magician. He’s one of my favourite filmmakers.”

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