By Richard Hogg
There is something about watching good comedy with a large group of strangers. Action films may leave the audience gasping; romance flicks may have everyone reaching for the tissues but comedy unites everyone in laughter – making us forget the troubles of the day for just a few hours.
And if there was ever a film designed to create this feel good factor it is Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. Such was the level of affection and familiarity with the film that a constant chuckle could be heard; purring in the background as everyone slowly remembered which bit was coming up. Bigus Dickus, the People’s Front of Judea, he’s not the messiah….all were preceded by a titter before the explosion of laughter.
The film itself needs no introduction but it got one anyway from the director, actor and Python member Terry Jones. Dressed casually he spoke with humour, warmth and a degree of humility that was refreshing for someone who has achieved so much. After the brief introduction the film started with English subtitles which were quickly cancelled thanks to a technician with the DVD control.
After Michael’s Palin’s corpsing in the Bigus Dickus scene I found my jaw beginning to seize up thanks to the permanent and slightly inane grin I had been holding for the last hour. The end song allowed a few of the more mature viewers to express their admiration through a sing-a-long with Eric Idles classic ‘Always Look on the Bright side of Life.’
After the film Mr Jones returned for a chat with Sanjeev Bhaskar and the audience. Again he was modest and disarming in the simplicity of his explanations of how one of the funniest ever films was made. For example, how Spike Milligan became involved because he was on holiday and happened to be staying in the same hotel as John Cleese.
This remains at the pinnacle of film comedy and I heartily recommend you watch it again at the earliest opportunity.