Wednesday, June 6, 2012

F This Movie! - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Erich Asperschlager returns to talk with Patrick about Monty Python, British humor, swallows and shrubberies.

Download this episode here. (33 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Inception, Batman Begins, Giallo, Inferno


  1. Oh, awesome! Haven't listened yet, just getting in from work and saw this had posted, but I cannot wait to listen to this. I'm a huge Python fan, not just this movie but of their oeuvre.

    *giggles like a little girl*

  2. Great discussion! I have a tangled history with Monty Python in, like Patrick, I became familiar with them more from their movies than Flying Circus. I actually saw "The Holy Grail" last and definitely think it's the funniest of the movies. But I do think "Life of Brian" is the best structured movie of the three.

    If I had to pick a favorite Python it would be Michael Palin. The only reason is because when I go back to all the sketches from the show and movies, his performances are the most memorable to me.

  3. Well, this is another one where, after listening, I can only really add "Mmmhmm! That's right!" because you guys covered just about every angle and every possible thread I could have thought of. Even as I was listening, things would pop up in my mind that I knew I'd want to post, then they'd get covered just a few minutes later. Like Holy Grail being the Greatest Hits of the Python movies, and how some people go on to search of the deep tracks, but for some, this is it. When I was 20 or so I briefly dated a girl who said she loved Monty Python, so I started talking to her about it, and said "oh, really? What do you think of Life Of Brian?" She had never heard of it. She thought Holy Grail was all they'd done. By the end of this episode I was wondering if I'm kind of like Jack Black in High Fidelity, only instead of being an opinionated music snob (I'm probably that too) I was a Python snob, because I do struggle not to scoff at people who's knowledge begins and ends with the Knights Who Say Ni. It seems like the people who's knowledge extends past this movie are pretty uncommon.

    I think my favorite Python movie is Life of Brian because I love that it takes the mickey out of the religious zealotry and ritual out of religion. Have any of you guys seen the Scorsese documentary on George Harrison? It's fantastic, and there's a scene where some of Python are being called out for mocking Christianity in that movie, but they are quick to point out that they aren't mocking Christianity, they're mocking certain followers of Christianity. I think they really achieved something special with that movie, and I love the balls of taking on something so controversial. But none of the movies come close to touching some of the heights of the television series for me, though. There's a lot of stuff that doesn't work in the show, but a lot of it does, and it's so stream of consciousness that I just think it's genius. The way sketches flow into one another is something I've still never seen anyone else master.

    Eric Idle is my favorite member, but Palin comes in just a hair behind him. Palin is hilarious, but Eric Idle made The Rutles, which gives him the edge for me.
    thanks for a really great episode about something I really enjoy. Erich is such a great actor, maybe even better than Hugh Laurie, because with Hugh Laurie sometimes his true accent comes through. This guy's a pro.

    Also, Patrick, your brother sounds awesome. Maybe one of these days you could have him on to talk about Q The Winged Serpent or Beastmaster, or some other movie that we geeks had to settle for in the 80s.


    1. You're right. I am a great actor. I am in fact a FAMOUS actor, and have been nominated for several Academy Awards (if you want to figure out my real identity, there are clues hidden in every episode of FTM).

      I'm just workshopping this "Erich" character for a StutterCore indie movie I'm writing about an awkward podcaster in constant need of other people's approval. I'm getting good material, but MAN is this guy depressing...

    2. Also, I believe that Life of Brian interview snippet is presented in much longer form in the Python doc Almost the Truth. If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching — all 6-ish hours of it.

      Also also, not only have I seen George Harrison: Living in the Material World, I reviewed it for DVD Verdict. Because shameless plug.

    3. Famous actor...English...nominated for several Academy're really Colin Firth?

  4. ^^^ That's a great idea Heath (having Patrick's bro tackle some 80's cult stuff) but, from the podcast, it sounds like Patrick's brother has outgrown and distanced himself from his past (based on Patrick's apologetic tone about bringing out older bros' youthful geeky pleasures in the podcast). It sure would be nice to have a podcast with some love for either Don Coscarelli/Marc Singer or Larry Cohen/Michael Moriarty. :-)

    I took me until almost half the podcast was over to realize Patrick and Erich weren't talking about "Life of Brian." Only when they started talking about two directors and describing some scenes in detail did a bulb went in my head and I realized they were talking about "The Holy Grail" (which I haven't seen). Yes, I'm slow. Not a Python fan but not a hater either (also mostly from their movie work) and yes, "Life of Brian" to me is the peak of their comedic power/height. That movie has balls the size of... well, Graham Chapman's in the flick. :-P

    If you haven't seen it and love "The Holy Grail" (even though I haven't seen it I've read enough about it to know) you guys should make an effort to see Robert Bresson's 1974 opus "Lancelot of the Lake." It's a direct inspiration on "Holy Grail's" over-the-top gory scenes, which mimic the one's in Bresson's movie almost too close for comfort. At a recent screening of "Lancelot" at BAM a few people in attendance busted out laughing at the knights' gore/bloody carnage scenes, which aren't meant to be funny (Bresson intended them to be shocking) but many can't help of think of them as OTT because of how dead-on perfect the "Holy Grail" satire skewered the target. You know, the same way the Zucker Bros.' and Jerry Abrahams' "Airplane!" satire has outlived the genre of disaster movies it was making fun of.

    Hey, that's a great idea for a podcast: "Airplane!," one of the earliest and few spoof movies that survives the test of time and it's still bust-a-gut hilarious. Just like "The Holy Grail," or so I was told by two fans in a podcast recently. ;-)

    1. JIM!!! It's JIM Abrahams, not Jerry; God, I suck!