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Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Just when you thought you were saved… 

Year: 1979 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Terry Jones 
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin  
An image from Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Review:

As soon as you see the fabulously bizarre Terry Gilliam animated opening sequence, you know that this film is going to be like no other religious-oriented fare.

The film starts in a manger not too far away from the one in which Joseph and Mary took up temporary residence, a baby named Brian was born. What next happened was to be just a taste of the things to come for Baby Brian, for along came the Three Wise Men bearing their gifts, in search for the messiah. They shower Brian with their gold, frankincense and myrrh but upon leaving they realise their mistake and remove their gifts…

Brian is next seen grown up (Chapman), living in a biblical Judea desperate for a saviour from Roman rule. Unable to see the benefits of a despotic dictatorship (besides sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health), a number of revolutionary groups form, though unfortunately the revolutionary business is very competitive. The People’s Front of Judea hates the Judean People’s Front, and the Popular Front of Judea has split off so much that it's just one man! Brian joins the People’s Front and, in the process of getting a lesson in Latin from a Roman guard, becomes a hero. As a hero, he has to run from the Romans, and in the process of running from the Romans, he becomes one of many candidates for the messiah. Add to that a love interest, Roman leaders with speech impediments and an extremely catchy end song, and you have one of the funniest films you're ever likely to see.

The humour is visual and cleverly executed (no pun intended), and Messrs Chapman, Cleese, Palin, Idle, Gilliam and Jones excelled themselves in creating a film with such longevity, and whilst that chances are that you've seen it a fair few times already, this is one film that will always get you laughing with scenes such as the stoning of the blasphemer and “Welease Wodger”. Life of Brian can actually be seen as an extended episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus; a collection of sketches held together by some plot, but there is nothing wrong with that.

Made before most current students of this University were born, Monty Python's Life of Brian is a comedy classic that has been frequently requested and Warwick Student Cinema finally have it – don't waste this opporunity to see a comedy classic on the big screen!

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
2017/2018 Spring Term (digital)