Wednesday, May 20, 2009

python - life of brian

This is fantastic. When 'Life of Brian' came out in the mid-70s, it created a firestorm of controversy. It was even banned in several countries, sparked outraged demonstrations, and drove church leaders to denounce it as the worst kind of filth. There was a documentary put together that appeared on the deluxe version of the DVD, featuring archival footage of protests, and contemporary interviews with various Pythons. It also features clips from a BBC programme on which Michael Palin and John Cleese appear with an Anglican bishop and some other sour, angry man.

It is hilarious to see these men talking down to them, referring to the 'tenth-grade humor' he says they used in the film--especially considering that most of the Pythons were educated at Cambridge, a fairly decent little school, if I understand it correctly. Graham Chapman, who played Brian in the film was actually a medical doctor.

At any rate, these are longish clips, but for an amazing perspective on what artistic suppression based on religion was like even as recently as thirty years ago, and in an 'enlightened' Western country, they are invaluable.

As Terry Gilliam says in one clip, "What ever happened to the idea of 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?'"

Or as I say when I wear my smart-ass, anti-religious t-shirts, if your religious beliefs are so fragile that they can't stand up to a dim-witted slogan on a shirt, you are in trouble indeed. I think if there's an omniscient god, he probably has better things to worry about.

The great ages in history, when mankind has moved forward with new discoveries and new knowledge have been seething cauldrons of opposing ideas battling it out until the truth won out. The problem with religion is it is always treated as a taboo subject that can never be questioned or even discussed, and it holds us back.

This is a unique behind the scenes look at the making of one of the finest, cleverest religious parodies ever written.

Part 1 (under ten minutes)

Part 2 (under ten minutes also)

'Romanes eunt domum? People called Romans, they go to the house?'

'It says 'Romans go home!'

'No it doesn't.'



I posted two interesting clips, but this is part of the BBC interview show and commentary on it to which I referred.

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