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Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975 Gilliam, T. Jones
- It is the Monty Python clan’s first narrative feature film and it is absolutely hilarious. Gilliam’s feature debut as well as he co-directed with Terry Jones
- Makes for a nice pairing with Woody’s comedy Love and Death which came out in 1975, too. These are comedies so sophisticated (in spots, it certainly isn’t all sophistication) you needed to see Ingmar Bergman first to understand some of the jokes—here we have the Swedish subtitles in the opening and The Seventh Seal scene- the scene of the flagellants in black cloaks (but here they hit themselves on the head with wooden boards).
- They openly mock sacred text and canon ( good practice for Life of Brian)—but they’re also mocking form here by throwing in animation, openly questioning if they should cut out a scene (the whole “get on with it” running joke), throwing up the “intermission” title with 10 minutes left
- Highbrow social satire and critiques mixed with lowbrow slapstick– often right next to each other. There a hysterical debate about class and system of governments following by Arthur cutting off all four limbs of an enemy (clapping along to the sound of a coconut instead of a horse in-between- haha).
- There are a few very nice shots using the castle set pieces but Gilliam would obviously develop from here as a visual artist. The main praise here is for the writing and the creativity thumbing its nose at traditional form
- The individual tales of the knights and their background show the trope’s talent for shorts
- It is hard not to think of The Marx Brothers and Duck Soup
- Recommend/ Highly Recommend border