Life of Brian (1979) IMDb

Categorization

On-site parody of Christianity. Directed by Terry Jones.

Subject

Brian is born a short distance away from the cradle of the Biblical Christ, and leads a parallel life in some respects. He’s involved with one of many movements of resistance against the theoretically oppressive Romans and is eventually taken to be a saviour because, in a moment of panic, he makes up an incomplete formula. However, as his mother persists, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

Commentary

The common theme here is unfounded idealism. Jones has since repented, admitting that the view of the Roman empire expressed in this film was historically naïve. It’s funny as hell nonetheless.

Several scenes bring the cultural environment to life better than any serious biblical epic. The scene where Brian falls in with a bunch of busker prophets often came to my mind as I was reading the Old Testament (ca. 164 BCE). You see such characters shaping the narrative of the bible from time to time, including 2 Kings 9. Jeremiah was versed in this busker rhetoric, using sex and threats of apocalypse etc. to get attention. Nine blades, ladies and gentlemen. Nine blades.

References here: History of the World: Part I (1981), Jesus of Montreal (1989), “Nero’s Sunken City” (2017).

Monty Python fiction moving picture

Documentary:

“The Secret Life of Brian” (2007) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2018.

Commentary

A decent overview of the making and initial reception of the film.

moving picture non-fiction