March 24, 2004

Brian - In Theaters - Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ to be re-issued - Mar 24, 2004

Coming back soon to a theater near you — a controversial film about a Jewish guy from Nazareth who is worshiped as the Messiah and crucified by the Romans.

Julie passes along this information about a film that may be an antidote to Mel-hysteria, or it just may be a welcome laugh during a time when a lot of people appear to need it.

“Life of Brian,” stirred an uproar all its own 25 years ago, with some Christians condemning the film as blasphemous. The film only got made when former Beatle George Harrison stepped in to finance the picture after EMI Films withdrew from the project, fearing that it was too controversial.

The movie focused on the fictional Brian of Nazareth, a Jew who is born in the manger next-door to Jesus and grows up to join an anti-Roman separatist group called the Judean People’s Front but ends up being mistaken for the Messiah.

The film’s creators have said it was meant as a spoof on Bible films and intolerance rather than Christianity.

But that distinction was lost on some who were offended by the irreverent flavor of the film, including a scene in which several crucifixion victims sing and whistle the tune “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” while hanging on crosses.

Posted by James at March 24, 2004 6:11 PM
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I remember reading a very interesting book called "Belfast Diary" about a dozen or so years ago. It's the first-person account of an American reporter who went to live in Belfast in 1981, during a particularly bad year of The Troubles (the year of the Bobby Sands hunger strike).

Anyway, in the book at one point he was giving some background information on how the IRA and UDF would police "their side" of the conflict, whether folks supported them or not. Each side had a list of banned items that would earn you a "fine" or a beating or whatever. The only item banned for both Catholics and Protestents by their respective terrorist groups, was The Life of Brian.

I never figured out if it was banned for religious reasons, or because it makes fun of militant organizations and various splits that happen within them.

Posted by: David Grenier at March 25, 2004 4:02 AM

Awesome, I can't wait to see it on a big screen. Probably my favorite Python movie.

Posted by: Bob at March 25, 2004 11:18 AM

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