Tuesday 30 July 2019

The Secret Life Of Brian: Documentary on the Monty Python film

Published on Jul 15, 2015 by Monty Python the Flying Circus
YouTube: The Secret Life of Brian (48:04)
Documentary shown on Channel 4 in 2007 showing the controversy that was around during and after the filming of "Monty Python Life of Brian".

Some idle thoughts
"So funny, it was banned in Norway!" I remember seeing the film when it first came out and was amused, but I had no idea of the backstory. As with anything religious, there's controversy, and it would seem the stalwarts of Christianity took exception — Even umbrage! — to mocking our Lord. Then again, were they locking our Lord Himself or were they mocking our attempts to worship the Lord?

I found the documentary fascinating. While films of fiction can be entertaining, a documentary can be eye-catching since we're talking about real life.

In hearing about the controversy generated by the religious, I have to ask how many fought to have the movie banned but had not actually seen the film? If you can't take criticism, you can't laugh at yourself and your own beliefs, there's something wrong.


Rotten Tomatoes: Monty Python's Life of Brian: 95%
Critics Consensus: One of the more cutting-edge films of the 1970s, this religious farce from the classic comedy troupe is as poignant as it is funny and satirical.

Wikipedia: Monty Python's Life of Brian
Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin). It was also directed by Jones. The film tells the story of Brian Cohen (played by Chapman), a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as—and next door to—Jesus Christ, and is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah.

Following the withdrawal of funding by EMI Films just days before production was scheduled to begin, long-time Monty Python fan and former member of the Beatles, George Harrison, arranged financing for Life of Brian through the formation of his company HandMade Films.

The film contains themes of religious satire that were controversial at the time of its release, drawing accusations of blasphemy, and protests from some religious groups. Thirty-nine local authorities in the United Kingdom either imposed an outright ban, or imposed an X (18 years) certificate, effectively preventing the film from being shown, since the distributors said it could not be shown unless it was unedited and carried the original AA (14) certificate. Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned its showing, with a few of these bans lasting decades. The filmmakers used such notoriety to benefit their marketing campaign, with posters in Sweden reading, "So funny, it was banned in Norway!"

The film was a box office success, the fourth-highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom in 1979, and highest grossing of any British film in the United States that year. It has remained popular, receiving positive reviews. The film was named "greatest comedy film of all time" by several magazines and television networks, and it would later receive a 97% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus, "One of the more cutting-edge films of the 1970s, this religious farce from the classic comedy troupe is as poignant as it is funny and satirical." In a 2006 Channel 4 poll, Life of Brian was ranked first on their list of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films.

Wikipedia: Monty Python
Monty Python (also collectively known as the Pythons) are a British surreal comedy group who created the sketch comedy television show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books, and musicals. The Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music. Regarded as enduring icons of 1970s pop culture, their sketch show has been referred to as being “an important moment in the evolution of television comedy".

my blog: Monty Python: The Cheese Shop - July 26/2014
This sketch from the television show was included in the 1973 album, Matching Tie and Handkerchief.

my blog: Monty Python: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Feb 11/2012
"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is a comedy song written by Eric Idle that was originally featured in the 1979 film Monty Python's Life of Brian and has gone on to become a common singalong at public events such as football matches as well as funerals."


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1 comment:

Valdis said...

Thanks for recommending this, watched it last night....fascinating to hear the furor it caused. I watched Life of Brian when I was about 12 (after loving Holy Grail) and probably didn't get half of it at the time. I'm going to watch the movie again with an adult's perspective (if I can be considered an adult!)