My first memory ofLife of Brian was seeing the video case sat snug on the dining room table. As a 10 year old kid I was intrigued, conceptually it was well out of my league. It might have been the last decent film my parents ever watched.
I’m pretty sure they didn’t like it.
The film came out in ’79 and, at the time, caused a bit of a stir. Mocking the church wasn’t really the done thing all those many moons ago. It was exactly this kind of attitude that gave the Pythons a reputation that has stood the test of time.
Life of Brian tells the story of Brian, a normal citizen of Judea. But Brian has been plagued all his life. After all, being born in the same place and the same time as Jesus (the barn next door none the less,) it’s hard to not have people confusing you with the Son of God. However, after a series of unfortunate events, Brian is soon believed to be the Messiah and is followed around by a group of religious fanatics. Pestered by the Romans, hounded by the believers and pestered by his mother, poor Brian can’t get a break as his life leads him up to a dramatic finale.
All the Pythons are there - Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin – and give sterling performances in the controversial and religious satire. It was the first Python film to be rated R in the U.S and was even banned in Norway. Obviously, to the joy of the marketing department who used that fact for their advertising campaign.
What else can I tell you? If I was going to recommend you a Monty Python film it would be this one (remember, I’ve seen loads). An absolute ‘must watch’ for anyone who is even remotely interested in where contemporary comedy comes from and likes to laugh out loud.