Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different

And Now for Something Completely Different; Comedy, UK, 1971; D: Ian MacNaughton, S: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Michael Chapman, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam

Several people are hiding in a forest. Whenever the narrator calls someone by his or her name to stand up, that person is immediately shot...A Hungarian immigrant has troubles communicating in English...Arthur arrives with his wife Deidre to see a marriage counselor, but he seduces her...A gym teacher demonstrates to his students self-defense against people attacking with fresh fruit...Several grandmas are terrorizing people on the street...A secretary is attacked by Mao Zedong's servants...A giant cat attacks a city...A dirty fork in a restaurant turns into a melodrama for the chief manager and the cook.

The 1st film by the Monty Python team, "And Now for Something Completely Different" is actually just a rehash of 40 of their best sketches (as always roughly) patched together, which is why the British audiences were not especially overwhelmed back in those days, perceiving it as a rerun of their TV show, yet for all those unfamiliar with the "Flying Circus" or simply fans of hilarious humor, this edition is still a blast. From the opening with the title saying "The End" through the bizarre-wild animated segments up to the gym teacher teaching his students how to defend themselves when someone attacks them with a banana ("The banana has to be eaten, thus disarming him and rendering him helpless!"), the Pythons again display their "satire on acid", the type of humor where anything can happen and a reference to reality is shockingly absent. As such, their taste is not for everyone, yet the film is simply funny and they work arguably the best when they present childishly-innocent jokes which seem as if they saved them from high school, such as the twist joke where a delinquent gang of grandmas is harassing two teenagers in a park or when an extended arm wants to take the leaf covering the genitals of Michelangelo's David, but when it does it reveals just a face of a whiny, uptight old woman who pledges that such obscenity will not be shown on film.


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