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Life of Brian
#1
No, not Brian Ross of Chud. The Monty Python movie that most of you have seen, I'm sure. My brother pulled this one out on dvd and played it. Jesus, what an ending, with everyone hanging on their cross, singing and whistling the tune, "Always look on the bright side of life". I found it interesting that the movie reminded me of Brazil in some ways, which it should, because Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle are among the creators. It was like a low-budget, light-hearted precursor to Brazil, until the ending. So, I know the gang is absurdist, but there is something more. What do you call it? Is it as simple as "life's a piece of shit, but, always look on the bright side of life", or is it just that life's a piece of shit, and you are stupid if you always try to look on the bright side of life?
It was funny, by the way. "Blessed be the cheesemakers" "Blessed are the Greek" ha ha ha!
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#2
Quote:

Originally posted by Jim Pappas/Jabba
I like all of Python's films. They are funny and a lot deeper than many would think. If you liked "Life of Brian," what did you think of "The Meaning of Life?"

I've never seen it. Perhaps I should. I'm not a Monty Python expert or anything, I just have enjoyed their television show in the past, and have my favorite skits, like many Chewers. One of my all-time favs would have to be the Monks who have a vow of silence and get into a food fight.

I just couldn't understand, to my frustration, what so many Chewers liked about "Brazil". It was frightfully depressing. I did see people crying in the theater when it was over. What could be worse than seeing a precious human life destroyed by insanity?
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#3
"I'll take ya to the fuckin cleaners"
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#4
Quote:

Originally posted by Anne
What do you call it? Is it as simple as "life's a piece of shit, but, always look on the bright side of life", or is it just that life's a piece of shit, and you are stupid if you always try to look on the bright side of life?

I wouldn't try to answer that question definitively, but that film does seem to take a particularly nasty view of human nature. I think the scene that best sums up what the Pythons think of people is when Brian tells his followers "You don't need me! You can think for yourself!" And they start chanting the new Holy Words back to him, "We can think for ourselves!" I also love the clever inversion of the "I'm Spartacus!" scene, with everyone on the crosses yelling "I'm Brian! No, I'm Brian!"
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#5
Life of Brian has to be my favorite Python movie, it's just so funny.
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#6
It's easily the Python's favorite movie of theirs.

And mine too.
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#7
Quote:

Originally posted by Z-Man
I wouldn't try to answer that question definitively, but that film does seem to take a particularly nasty view of human nature. I think the scene that best sums up what the Pythons think of people is when Brian tells his followers "You don't need me! You can think for yourself!" And they start chanting the new Holy Words back to him, "We can think for ourselves!" I also love the clever inversion of the "I'm Spartacus!" scene, with everyone on the crosses yelling "I'm Brian! No, I'm Brian!"

Yes, Z-Man, it does take a nasty view of human nature, in many scenes. I thought the scene you describe when Brian stops to talk to his followers was the Pythons trying to make it clear to audiences that they are against organized religion. I assume that, especially, because British humor, if you want to generalize, does that ruthelessly. True, though, his followers' reaction was probably a reference to the stupidity of people when it comes to religion, as Monty Python sees it.
Both the human nature and religion bashing shocks me a bit, probably because I am American, and therefore, I must retain a kernel of optimism no matter what. I'm also moderately religious, and I like to keep my beliefs, thank you very much, Monty Python guys. None of that prevents me from liking Monty Python, because they are creative and genuinely funny. I want to be taken out of my comfort zone from time to time.

Jabba, I will try to see "The Meaning of Life" soon. I didn't have any discussion with my brother about "Life of Brian" after watching it, although we both laughed, and it was awfully funny in some parts, with Pontius Pilate and his speech impediment for instance. It was the first viewing for both of us. He asked me what I thought, and I said something like I don't know, what do you think, and he said I don't know, what do you think. He's not a church goer at all.
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#8
Bought the Criterion of "Life of Brian" totally blind. Didnt fucking laugh more than a handful of times. I have no idea what anyone see's in it.

- Fate
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#9
Anne, I saw Cleese being interviewed about Brian, and he said that when they set about doing a biblical satire, they found that there wasn't really much to satirize in the words of Jesus himself, but found plenty of material in the way in which people, over the years, have found so many opportunities to commit atrocities against each other out of their (mis)interpretations of Jesus' words. Which sounds about right to me. To my mind, Life of Brian can stand right next to Dr. Strangelove as one of the great satirical comedies in cinema.
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#10
"Blessed are the cheesmakers."


Classic Python, their funniest flick. Really teaches you to think for yourself before you hop on the belief train.
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#11
Isn't it spicy the way that two intelligent people can give two opposite opinions on the same movie one right after the other? Dudes! Cogs of Fate and Z-man. I suppose it partly depends on how willing you are to look for meaning and worth in a movie, which is everyone's perogative. There have been times when I just called out "snore" right at the beginning of a movie, just because I felt like it was trying to manipulate me somehow.
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#12
Quote:

Originally posted by Anne
Isn't it spicy the way that two intelligent people can give two opposite opinions on the same movie one right after the other? Dudes! Cogs of Fate and Z-man. I suppose it partly depends on how willing you are to look for meaning and worth in a movie, which is everyone's perogative. There have been times when I just called out "snore" right at the beginning of a movie, just because I felt like it was trying to manipulate me somehow.

I cant be sure, but I think I've just been referred to as...intelligent(?) Crazy fucking world.

I wasnt looking for "meaning", I was just looking for something that would make me laugh as much as Holy Grail did. This one seemed a lot less well made to me, and the jokes often ran on for too long.

- Fate
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#13
The three Python movies are all completely different.

Holy Grail: pure wackiness, gags a-plenty, probably the laugh-out-loud funniest movie I've ever seen (possible exception: Duck Soup).

Life of Brian: the most satirical of the three, with biting jabs at religous, political and social mores of both biblical and modern times.

Meaning of Life: the most bizzarre and surreal of their films.
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#14
Close to the funniest movie ever.
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#15
Quote:

Originally posted by Z-Man
The three Python movies are all completely different.

Holy Grail: pure wackiness, gags a-plenty, probably the laugh-out-loud funniest movie I've ever seen (possible exception: Duck Soup).

Life of Brian: the most satirical of the three, with biting jabs at religous, political and social mores of both biblical and modern times.

Meaning of Life: the most bizzarre and surreal of their films.


Must agree. Your analysis is dead on.

Grail is funny, but Brian is their best. Meaning of life has its moments, but it's just so weird.
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#16
Quote:

Originally posted by Anne
I just couldn't understand, to my frustration, what so many Chewers liked about "Brazil". It was frightfully depressing. I did see people crying in the theater when it was over. What could be worse than seeing a precious human life destroyed by insanity?

As I understand it one of Gilliam's ideas in conceiving the story was that the hero going insane at the end was in fact the happy ending. One of those ironic endings some of us like so much.
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#17
Quote:

Originally posted by Jim Pappas/Jabba
Yes, by going insane he "escaped" the real madness. Just too cool. I love Brazil.

I'll keep that in mind. Can't say it wins me over, though.


I tried to watch The Meaning of Life last night, on dvd. I got as far as the schoolmaster's lesson on sex. My son was sitting next to me. I'll have watch that one on my own. I agree with Z-man so far, in that Life of Brian is the most satirical, and The Meaning of Life is the most surreal. It also lays it on heavy with the scathing diatribe against church rules and practices.

I saw the short feature at the beginning of the dvd, about the accounting firm whose employees revolt, and their building turns into a ship. That was very surreal, and visually rich, definitely a big step in budget.
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#18
Just saw it last night thanks to some fella on the radio that considered it for the Eastern. I couldn't stop laughing or at least my smirk never disappeared. I love the reaction from Brian's mother when he is considered the messiah, just brilliant.
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#19
Probably THE hardest I have ever laughed in a theater in my life, even including Holy Grail and Young Frankenstein.

At the time, I was mostly appreciating the brilliance of the entire team, but in retrospect it's a shame that Palin, in particular, wasn't singled out for the astonishing variety of different roles he played in this one.

Life of Brian came out within a few months of both The In-Laws and Used Cars; it was like I was having my own personal Golden Age of Comedy.
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#20
This is basically a perfect comedy and if you don't find something to laugh at in it you are deeply suspicious in my book.

Nothing beats organised religion summarized in 90 seconds:

Quote:

FOLLOWERS: ...Look! Ah! Oh! Oh!

ARTHUR: He has given us a sign!

FOLLOWER: Oh!

SHOE FOLLOWER: He has given us... His shoe!

ARTHUR: The shoe is the sign. Let us follow His example.

SPIKE: What?

ARTHUR: Let us, like Him, hold up one shoe and let the other be upon our foot, for this is His sign, that all who follow Him shall do likewise.

EDDIE: Yes.

SHOE FOLLOWER: No, no, no. The shoe is...

YOUTH: No.

SHOE FOLLOWER: ...a sign that we must gather shoes together in abundance.

GIRL: Cast off...

SPIKE: Aye. What?

GIRL: ...the shoes! Follow the Gourd!

SHOE FOLLOWER: No! Let us gather shoes together!

FRANK: Yes.

SHOE FOLLOWER: Let me!

ELSIE: Oh, get off!

YOUTH: No, no! It is a sign that, like Him, we must think not of the things of the body, but of the face and head!

SHOE FOLLOWER: Give me your shoe!

YOUTH: Get off!

GIRL: Follow the Gourd! The Holy Gourd of Jerusalem!

FOLLOWER: The Gourd!

HARRY: Hold up the sandal, as He has commanded us!

ARTHUR: It is a shoe! It is a shoe!

HARRY: It's a sandal!

ARTHUR: No, it isn't!

GIRL: Cast it away!

ARTHUR: Put it on!

YOUTH: And clear off!

SHOE FOLLOWER: Take the shoes and follow Him!

GIRL: Come,...

FRANK: Yes!

GIRL: ...all ye who call yourself Gourdenes!

SPIKE: Stop! Stop! Stop, I say! Stop! Let us-- let us pray. Yea, He cometh to us, like the seed to the grain.

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#21

So, I am necroing this thread, but I accidently found this on Youtube. Incredible. I so wish our talk shows were this open.

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