Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas TV on Bible Films

Matt Page has usefully gathered together details of Christmas Bible Related Films and Programmes on UK TV. I have already commented on The Secret Family of Jesus and the Daily Mayo podcast connected with it. The one I am particularly looking forward to is the following:

The Secret Life of Brian
1st Jan 8:00 pm
Channel 4 are devoting an entire evening to the Pythons. The evening kicks off with this documentary looking at the controversy surrounding the film. I hope they show the complete footage of the TV debate between two of the Python's and a bishop and another religious representative. I don't think it will, but hopefully there will be some interesting footage that I've not seen before.
I agree on that -- we tend to get the same tantalizing clip each time. Malcolm Muggeridge is the other chap Matt is talking about here; I don't recall which bishop it was. The Not the Nine O'Clock News Parody of the exchange, though, was genius (General Synod's "Life of Christ").

Update (13.44): David Mackinder informs me that the bishop in question was Mervyn Stockwood.

3 comments:

Christopher Shell said...

Several writers, Philip Davies among them, have pointed out correctly that 'life of Brian' can give us a good feel of what it might be like to be caught up in an actual messianic movement warts and all, in 1st century Judea or elsewhere.

What is not often enough pointed out, however, is that the Pythons, for all their good points, were professional balloon prickers, and that ridicule is nothing but the easy (if, since 1963, fashionable) option. They were not primarily concerned to be historical, let alone reverent (quite the reverse), and these are two of their flaws when viewed as a serious contribution to study. Muggeridge was right that they primarily wanted to joke and ridicule, which is fine as far is it goes, but anything but profound or important, and does show an innate disinclination to face up to important issues or take anything at all seriously. One respects more those humorists who can take *some* things seriously.

Rev Tony Buglass said...

Having watched "Secret Life of Brian" last night, I'm left with mixed feelings. Why were the only Christian voices those in opposition? There are lots of us who love the movie, and are very happy to join in the fun and laugh at ourselves, while in no way denigrating the faith we hold or the One we follow. I enjoyed the programme, but thought it a bit one-sided.

Christopher Shell said...

There is much that is very funny in the film; there is also some blasphemy. The credo 'Life's a piece of **** when you look at it' (and it is a credo, since they sang it at Graham Chapman's funeral) is not merely a blasphemy but a pretty ultimate one, n'est-ce pas? (As well as being untrue. What motivates people to be pointlessly negative for the sake of it? ) If you set it within a crucifixion scene (as they did), it becomes that much more so.

Mind you, I would not be surprised if before long those who are too afraid of the unpopularity and perceived deviance that opposing any aspect of Python will bring hold an academic conference to debate the above proposition, with particular reference to the profound final clause.