Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm working on a show for next summer called Paradox Now!--which is all about parodies, reenactments, and hoaxes. While I was chatting with one of the artists about it, Monty Python's classic 1979 film, Life of Brian, came up. It's such a brilliant movie, and, of course, it almost didn't get made: EMI got nervous and backed out a mere two days before filming was set to start out in the sand dunes of Tunisia. Former Beatle (and rabid Python fan) George Harrison had to ride to the rescue, mortgaging his house in order to finance the production.

Anyway, below is a snippet from a 2007 documentary on the making of the movie, and the controversy that followed it--mostly stirred up by people who had never seen the film, and probably wouldn't have enjoyed a good laugh, anyway. It features a few clips from an interview that I wish I could find in its entirety: Stars John Cleese and Michael Palin arguing on the BBC talk show, Friday Night, Saturday Morning, with writer Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, the Bishop of Southwark. The two Christians barely engage the Pythons, and mostly seem intent on behaving badly and appearing outraged for the benefit of the audience. Michael Palin's evident frustration with the exchange is wonderful.


Blogger Sean Tubbs said...

I saw the documentary thanks to the magic of YouTube, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Life of Brian remains one of the most influential films I've seen in terms of forming my own attitudes about being a human being amongst other human beings, particularly when it comes to religion. I'd like to think that my skepticism about such matters is due to watching it at your house when I was 12 or 13. As an adult, I've enjoyed reading about how the film was used by religious conservatives as a weapon, ultimately unsuccessfully. See John Lennon and "I'm bigger than Jesus" for more in this vein.

4:05 PM  

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