Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
What with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus coming out, I've decided to watch all the movies directed by Terry Gilliam. There are only three I haven't seen (counting the Imaginarium itself), and several of the ones I have seen are among my favorite movies ever. So this shouldn't be too hard! First up, we have Mr. Gilliam's directorial debut, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Terry Jones.
I have, of course, seen this before. Many, many times. I've worn out two videotapes of this movie. I want to emphasize that I'm not one of those people who quotes it all the time. I used to be, but I got over it. The quotes are always there in the back of my head. Always. While watching it this time, I got almost ten minutes in without quoting along, but then "Dennis! There's some lovely filth down here!" leapt unbidden out of my mouth.
So obviously I can't be objective about this movie. I love everything about it, and I've reached the point where I'm watching the backgrounds because I've already memorized what happens close to the camera. I've read a bit (read: everything I could get my hands on) about the making of Holy Grail, so I know that Gilliam was mostly interested in making things look right and covering actors with filth, while Jones's directing efforts were more about the actors and the funny. In later Monty Python movies, they sensibly decided that Terry Jones would be the Director, while Terry Gilliam would be Production Designer. Meanwhile, Gilliam would go off to start directing on his own on Jabberwocky, which I will watch for the first time now. Exciting!
Incidentally, I thought "Spamalot" was fine, although it wasn't as funny as the movie.