Saturday, February 14, 2004

Reel Histories: Life of Brian

In ten minutes from now as I write, Radio 4 are broadcasting a half-hour programme about Monty Python's Life of Brian in their Reel Histories series. If you're in time, you can listen on-line here:

BBC Radio 4

If not, I'll check after the broadcast to see if it's archived. Here's the blurb:
Sat 14 Feb, 15:30 - 16:00 30 mins

Gerry Northam presents the series exploring the truth behind classic film versions of history.

2/4. Monty Python's Life of Brian

Reluctant messiah Brian Cohen outraged church leaders and the film was banned by local councils across the country. But was there any fact behind the farce? Historians reveal the real Judean Popular Front; classicists explore the fate of a second messianic Jesus, and director Terry Jones explains why the Virgin Mandy sounded like a parrot.
Update: it is archived here for a week:

Reel Histories: Monty Python's Life of Brian
(Fast forward 2 minutes to get to the beginning of the programme)

It's a good programme; Philip Davies from the University of Sheffield is one of the contributors most used; he reflects on the history behind the film, claiming that on the whole Python got it right, e.g. the uprisings that led to the Jewish war, "Only the true Messiah denies his divinity" as parodying NT scholarship on the Messianic secret, and more. There are some enjoyable contributions too from Terry Jones who thinks of the film as heretical but not blasphemous. One interesting insight he provides is that many of the extras used in the film were local Tunisians, many of whom had recently been extras in Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth.

No comments: