In this Easter season, we’re looking at the bright side of life with Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979).
Michael’s previous efforts to turn The Unenthusiastic Critic into a Python fan have resulted in a grudging respect, but no actual laughs. Will the troupe’s irreverent take on the New Testament finally persuade Nakea to run away and join the Flying Circus? Can Life of Brian possibly supplant The Ten Commandments as her Easter-weekend film of choice? Will Michael resist the urge to quote his favorite lines in an abysmally bad British accent? Do we have any Venezuelan Beaver Cheese? Does the plumage enter into it?
The answer to all of these questions, of course, is “no.” But it’s a lively conversation nonetheless, covering blackface and blasphemy, stammering and stigmata, personal grooming and choreographed crucifixions.
—0:00: Prologue: from John Cleese’s eulogy for Graham Chapman, October 4, 1989.
—1:49: Preliminary Discussion: Why Monty Python is Like Church (But Not in a Good Way.)
—13:45: Interlude: BBC Apology, from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Episode 33
—14:31: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of Monty Python’s Life of Brian
—23:42: Monty Python’s Life of Brian Trailer
—26:02: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of Monty Python’s Life of Brian
—57:31: Outro and Next Week’s Movies
Notes and Links
—Film reviewed: Monty Python’s Life of Brian (dir. Terry Jones, Handmade Films, 1979).
—Articles discussed: “The Beatles of Comedy,” David Free, The Atlantic; “A Revolution in the Head: The Other Side of Monty Python,” Taylor Parkes, The Quietus.
—Videos discussed and referenced: John Cleese’s Eulogy for Graham Chapman (with full text—well worth reading—here); Life of Brian debate on Friday Night, Saturday Morning; The Secret Life of Brian (2007), documentary dir. by Will Yapp.
—Podcast discussed: Mark Maron’s Interview with RuPaul Charles, WTF Episode 498
—Listen to additional episodes and read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at unaffiliatedcritic.com. Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are welcome.)
—Theme Music: “Warm Duck Shuffle” by Arne Huseby, licensed under CC BY 3.0.