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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    The classics that every film-lover will want to own. This week, Tom Cox admires Monty Python's best film



    Traditionally, the sight of a wacky comic collective reuniting several years after the demise of the project that originally brought them together is even less fun than watching a bunch of reluctant, wrinkly rockers cattleprodding themselves back into action in order to pay their latest tax bill, but Monty Python's Life of Brian is the exception to the rule.



    Made five years after the airing of the last ever episode of Monty Python, it was, unusually, a considerably more consistent piece of work than the show that spawned it, and now seems simultaneously funnier and more serious than anything else its creators have put their joint name to.



    The entire original team is here: Graham Chapman as Brian Cohen, a reluctant otter's nose salesman mistaken for the Messiah in ancient Judea; Terry Jones as his mum; and Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam as various confused revolutionaries, potty prophets, lippy lepers and lisping Romans.



    Like their previous feature-length offering, 1974's The Holy Grail, the idea is to retell a legendary story – this time that of the Christian faith – gleefully twanging clichés along the way. The difference here is there is a story, of sorts, and not just a higgledy-piggledy collection of excuses to dress up and make silly noises.



    Many of the more dated Python obsessions – such as the penchant for exaggerated working-class characters – are put to one side in Life of Brian in favour of priceless dialogue and a story that never lets its two-laughs-per-minute ratio distract it from creating a watertight comment about the hysteria of organised religion and, perhaps more pertinently, the eternal, futile predicament of the wannabe revolutionary.



    The cod cockney singalong at the end is needless and heavy-handed, but it's not quite enough to ruin an ending that, despite all the preceding comic mayhem, you can both care about and learn from



    [ 06. December 2004, 21:58: Message edited by: DB7 ]

  2. #2
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    I dissent.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Splitter!

  4. #4
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    Well Weally! "Life of Bwian" is one of my favowite comedies! Regards, Decks.

  5. #5
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    Sometimes the dialogue can be a bit 'university' - like Cleese, as the centurion catching 'Brian' daubing anti-Roman grafitti and then going into a Roman Grammar lecture - very funny, but over the heads of us state school plebs! Am I missing something here? doh

  6. #6
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    DB7:

    Splitter!
    I don't like rows. While, the Pythons have a natural humour, they went over my bounds with this movie.

  7. #7
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    Given what's been done in the name of religion, I think the Almighty will be pretty forgiving of the Pythons.

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    No quarters! That's usually the excuse for blasphemy and dark humour that goes over the bounds of humane propriety.



    When art becomes totally absurdist and nihilistic and the sacred is degraded; then, hope is lost and one is left with the sarcastic broodings of the envious and bitter.



    Humour is satire that shows up the ridiculous side of human nature; and, some expressions by people of religion are fair game.

  9. #9
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    DB7:

    Given what's been done in the name of religion, I think the Almighty will be pretty forgiving of the Pythons.
    Mmmm you're not wrong there DB7, d'you know that the "Life of Brian" was actually banned in Cornwall when first released and I had to to travel to Plymouth(Devon) to see it! and as to your obsevation, it all seems pretty ridiculous eh? Regards, Decks.

  10. #10
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    PS - the listing said 1974. The movie came out in 1979.

  11. #11
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    Gibbie:

    PS - the listing said 1974. The movie came out in 1979.
    Well spotted Gibbie! thumbs_u Regards, Decks.

  12. #12
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    Hey Decks! thumbs_u

  13. #13
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    deckard:

    Mmmm you're not wrong there DB7, d'you know that the "Life of Brian" was actually banned in Cornwall when first released and I had to to travel to Plymouth(Devon) to see it! and as to your obsevation, it all seems pretty ridiculous eh? Regards, Decks.
    I remember the original broohaha, and the televised debate between the Pythons (Palin and Cleese I think) and church leaders which was a whitewash for the Cambridge satirists.



    We live in an age where thankfully subverting the norm doesn't result in a spin on the catherine wheel.



    I was appalled that the Beeb recently caved-in over a cartoon spoofing the Vatican.



    The world is scary enough with fundamental christians Bush & Blair saving the world with a never-ending body count. violent

  14. #14
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    DB7:



    The world is scary enough with fundamental christians Bush & Blair saving the world with a never-ending body count. violent
    This is a non-sequitor and shows your presuppositions.



    Best to leave it here.



    Gibbie

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    "THE LIFE OF BRIAN" was a bit controversial. What the Monty Python team should have done was go to Holland and make a film about Moslem Women. We all know how tolerant and forgiving the Moslem Religion is of criticism or lampooning. I mean they are not likely to send somebody round to shoot or stab you. Are they?.

  16. #16
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    I mean they are not likely to send somebody round to shoot or stab you. Are they?.
    'They'?



    How can you blame a whole people for the actions of individuals?



    Not the sor t of comment for a movie forum I think.



    Hardly a welcoming sight for Muslim readers or members. frown

  17. #17
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    MrDrakesDuck:

    'They'?



    How can you blame a whole people for the actions of individuals?



    Not the sort of comment for a movie forum I think.



    Hardly a welcoming sight for Muslim readers or members.
    I can't see that there will be many Muslims being interested in the decadent west's films somehow; so if there are any Muslim members out there, can you speak up please and let us know your feelings?


  18. #18
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    HACKETT:

    "THE LIFE OF BRIAN" was a bit controversial.
    All a bit tepid now, I think EMI dumped the Sex Pistols and Life of Brian in the same year - mostly due to the company's staid and conservative image.



    If you watch the film Christ only makes one minor appearance. Many seemed to miss the point that the Three Wise Men go to the wrong tent in the opening scene.

  19. #19
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    Well I think the Greeks should inherit the Earth! (just lightening the mood, don't y'know) "did he say Greeks?" wink regards, Decks.

  20. #20
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    BRIAN: You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves. You're all individuals!



    FOLLOWERS: Yes, we're all individuals!



    BRIAN: You're all different!



    FOLLOWERS: Yes, we are all different!



    DENNIS: I'm not.

    thumbs_u

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