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When Christian Bale first talked with director Ridley Scott about playing the role of Moses in Scott's “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” he went home and rented a movie to get him in the right mood. It wasn't “The 10 Commandments,” in which Charlton Heston played the part, or “Moses,” the 1995 TV movie starring Ben Kingsley in the title role. Instead, it was “Life of Brian,” Monty Python's seriously twisted take on Biblical movies through the story of a hapless would-be messiah and his misguided followers. “It was the very first film I rented while still trying to get my head wrapped. »
- Steve Pond
Ahead of the 58th BFI London Film Festival, American Express has teamed up with some of Britain’s most influential movie bloggers – including us – to produce a new bank of film trivia celebrating British cinemas rich history.
“There’s so much to celebrate about British film, from iconic locations, multi-award winning production and creative teams to some of the world’s best loved stars,” states Melissa Weber, Vice President Brand and Communications, American Express “People love talking about film and this list should fuel some great discussion, enabling people across the country to get into the spirit of this year’s Film Festival.”
A selection of the facts have been turned into Vine videos to be hosted on Twitter via @AmexUK, using #BritFilmTrivia and will be calling for enthusiasts to trade their favourite facts. Meanwhile, a video has been released with Alex Zane, which you can see below, along with a selection of the trivia… »
- Gary Collinson
"I'll always be anti-authoritarian, as long as I live," says Terry Gilliam, the comic provocateur who's been taking aim at the establishment for over four decades. The only thing that changes: his targets. In Life of Brian, it was religion. In Brazil, the government. And in his latest film, The Zero Theorem, it's the biggest oppressor of all: big business. Says Gilliam, "Governments are second rate compared to corporations when it comes to power and influence on our lives." The Zero Theorem stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, a reclusive computer drone whose life is at the mercy of his employer, Mancorp. His boss, a godlike figure named Management (Matt Damon), and his underlings dictate everything from Qohen's therapist (Tilda Swinton) to his sexual »
Venice — "Pasolini is me." So sang erstwhile Smiths frontman Morrissey on single "You Have Killed Me" from "Ringleader of the Tormentors," an album recorded in Italy. The very next track on the album opens with a sample of a very distinctive sound: the siren of an Italian ambulance. At the Venice festival, it's impossible to go for more than a day without hearing this dolorous yet urgent wail on the Lido; it's an unofficial soundtrack. These congruences were very much slushing around my head as I sat down for Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini." Prior to the festival, Maestro Ferrara, the man who brought "The Driller Killer," "King of New York," and the original "Bad Lieutenant" into the world gave various interviews about the project. Like Morrissey, he is an inveterate quote machine, an expert in controversy, and the words that drew the most attention were electrifying: "I know who killed him. »
- Catherine Bray
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
Without the help of some brave investors, or the pockets of their makers, the following films would never have existed...
It's now a fairly common mantra that you'd be a fool to put up all of your own personal money into a feature film. By all means invest, but share the risk, or throw a few quid at Kickstarter.
Paying for the bulk of the negative/hard drive yourself, and leaving your own assets exposed? Utter lunacy.
Not that anyone told this lot...
For some time, Mel Gibson had, alongside his acting roles, been heavily invested in his production company, Icon. As such, he had two significant ways to earn money, and he needed both of them when it came to making The Passion Of The Christ.
This is the kind of film that studios run a mile from. All »
The British comedy troupe Monty Python is beginning to roll out clips of sketches from its farewell run at London's O2 this year, and first up is the group's classic "Spanish Inquisition" bit, which dates back to 1970. Since nothing ruins a joke quite like explaining it, the clip will speak for itself – as long as the sketch's Cardinal characters, played by Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, can remember their lines. The YouTube description for the clip suggests that it is the first in a series of sketches that »
The surviving members of the iconic and influential British comedy troupe Monty Python recently closed out their run of reunion shows by bidding farewell in a befitting way: a sing-along of their tongue-in-cheek ditty "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." The comedians dressed in white suit jackets, with four conducting the London audience with batons as the song's writer, Eric Idle, played guitar. By the end of the song, a number of other performers from throughout the night, as well as Mike Myers, came out to wish the »
Beware of darkness … and also tree beetles. Los Angeles Councilman Tom Labonge told the Los Angeles Times that a pine tree planted near Griffith Park's Observatory in 2004 to honor late Beatle George Harrison has died after an infestation of - wait for it - tree beetles. As the paper notes, "Except for the loss of tree life, Harrison likely would have been amused at the irony." The Quiet Beatle was an avid fan of both comedy and plant life: He founded film production company HandMade Films just to produce Monty Python's Life of Brian and spent much of his later »
- Alex Heigl
Amir here, to welcome you to another edition of Team Top Ten, a poll of all of the website’s contributors. The topic du jour given that it's Emmy season is Best Films Adaptated from TV Series.
For as long as film and TV have coexisted, their fates, stars, successes, failures and histories have been entangled. Their ever-shifting dynamic has had an immense impact on both industries. The complexity of their relationship made devising a list like this one quite difficult, beginning with the question of what really constitutes an adaptation. For example, The Holy Grail and Life of Brian are not adapted from Monty Python's The Flying Circus; they are inspired by it, but one is more inspired than the other, so we rendered the former film eligible and the latter ineligible. On the other hand, series like Mission Impossible and Naked Gun present a different type of challenge »
- Amir S.
For your chance to see an encore presentation of Monty Python Live (Mostly) on July 23rd, 2014 at the AMC Forum 30 theater in Sterling Heights, Michigan, enter the contest below!
For the first time in more than three decades, comedy legends Monty Python will perform live on stage together this year. Broadcast from London’s O2 Arena, Monty Python Live (mostly) will play in cinemas around the globe on Sunday, July 20th. At a combined age of just 358, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will once again perform some of their greatest hits, with modern, topical, Pythonesque twists.
Monty Python are rightfully regarded as among the world’s finest-ever comedians. They influenced a generation and revolutionized comedy. Their eagerly awaited reunion promises to be among the biggest live events of 2014.
Monty Python first hit our screens with the Flying Circus, which saw 45 episodes broadcast over four »
For the first time in more than three decades, Monty Python comedy legends John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will reunite on stage for a special, historic trip down memory lane. In July, fans from around the world will have the opportunity to join one of the most anticipated live events of the year, and bid farewell on this final curtain call of the Pythons live from London’s O2 Arena performance. Presented by Fathom Events and Picturehouse Entertainment, “Monty Python Live (mostly)” will be broadcast live to cinemas.
Sunday, July 20 at 2:30 pm Et/1:30 pm Ct/12:30 pm Mt/11:30 am Pt
Additional showings scheduled on Wednesday, July 23 and Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 pm local time.
Tickets for “Monty Python Live (mostly)” are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be presented in more than »
- Movie Geeks
They are so iconic that seeing them in person is like watching them step out of your television set. Yesterday morning at the London Palladium, the home of variety entertainment in the UK, Monty Python held a last press conference before their series of live shows kicks off and countdown commences toward the end of the line for the most influential group of sketch performers this country ever produced. Sculptures of cherubs and gargoyles look down on the pensionable quintet, contrasting nicely with an angel in high heels, created by Terry Gilliam for the promotional image which looms large behind them. The giant foot rests in a graveyard but there’s nothing quiet about this plot.
Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin are as generous with their time and open to query from the world’s journos as they can be. They’re great company and there is little evidence »
- Steve Palace
While doing press for his romantic comedy satire They Came Together, in theaters starting today, screenwriter Michael Showalter also shared details about his new Wet Hot American Summer TV series, which was announced last month.
While it doesn't seem that a deal with Netflix has been finalized, Michael Showalter revealed that he and co-writer David Wain have an outline written for the series, which may expand past one season, while confirming that they still plan on getting the entire original cast from the movie back together.
Michael Showalter first revealed that a full script hasn't been written yet, and that they would start crafting the story as just one season, with the potential to expand it down the road.
"We're talking about doing Wet Hot American Summer now as a Netflix series. So we have an outline but we don't have a script. I think we would start with one (season) and go from there, »
We don’t go to the cinema much, because we hate people. We also don’t go because there’s always the risk of accidentally going to see the wrong film. It's not helped by the fact that there's no way of telling until it’s too late, because there are no bloody opening credits on lots of modern films. And by the time you do realise, you’ve eaten all your popcorn and you can’t be bothered to move.
The movies on this list won’t give you that problem. These opening credits are perfect scene setters for the movies that follow, so you won’t have to worry about awkward popcorn wasting moments. It's not a top 50, rather a selection of 50 interesting credits sequences, »
Ask a director what his influences were during film school and the answer probably won’t surprise you: “At a certain point, all I wanted to make was Goodfellas, and then at another point, I was heavily inspired by Spielberg,” Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett says. But get him to talk about the TV shows and movies he was obsessed with as a child, and that will change. (Killdozer, anyone?)
EW sat Fawcett and co-creator Graeme Manson down for our new video series Origin Stories to chat about both their earliest influences and the movies and TV series that inspired »
- Mandi Bierly
Monty Python have recorded a new verse for their 1979 song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," transforming it into a sarcastic theme song for England's soccer team a few days before the beginning of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
According to The Telegraph, the tune now features a line that predicts a loss in the team's upcoming game against Brazil: "When you're in the World Cup, and all your hopes are up, and everybody wants your team to win/ Then they go and let you down, and come »
The film, currently in post-production with Terry Jones directing, has been sold by Gfm Films in the U.K.. to Lionsgate, in Germany to Telepool and Senator, in Scandinavia to Svenske, in Australasia to Icon, in Cis to Exponeta and in the Middle East to Ecs.
Shooting finished a week ago in London following a 37-day shoot.
The Pythons are voicing key roles as a a group of aliens who endow a disillusioned teacher (Pegg) with the power to do “absolutely anything” to see what a mess he’ll make of things — which is precisely what happens.
There’s also a talking dog named Dennis, voiced by Robin Williams, who seems to understand more about the mayhem that ensues than anyone else does. Pegg »
- Dave McNary
The third episode of the current season of Game of Thrones, which is featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, contains an Easter egg of Arthurian proportions: Monty Python references. The show's linguist, David Peterson, has revealed that the references appear in the scene where Daario Naharis faces off with the champion of Meereen and the latter shouts at Daenerys Targaryen in some foreign tongue. Although she asks what the invective means, she does not get an accurate translation. "He's actually saying a Low Valyrian translation of the French guy's »
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