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MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE (#HotDocs15 Review)

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MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE

Directed by Roger Graef and James Rogan

In 2014, British comedy group Monty Python reunited to play one final series of live shows. The group, consisting of John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin, played ten sold out shows at London’s O2 Arena. Directors Roger Graef and James Rogan has worked with the Python pack before, and rejoin the group to film their progress on their final stage show.

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MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE chronicles the stage show from inception to performance, providing candid footage of the group along the way. Graef and Rogan also look back on previous stage shows by Monty Python including The Secret Policeman’s Ball and Pleasure at Her Majesty’s. In doing so, the directors are able to provide viewers with a light history of Monty Python whilst showing the struggles and progress of their latest stage show. The interview portions with Monty Python surprisingly add quite a bit of insight into their struggles. The group does not shy away from the fact that the penultimate reason that they are doing the show is for money. It is remarked multiple times that Terry Jones needs to pay off his mortgage and that the group was hit hard by a lawsuit filed by an old producer.

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The scenes of Monty Python preparing their show follows the standards set by previous documentaries about shows and concerts. While the film is quite entertaining, it does not ultimately provide an in-depth look at the Python’s rise to fame. That being said, THE MEANING OF LIVE will surely please Monty Python fans, but may not be the best introduction for a new fan that does not know the troupe’s history.

3.5 sheep

MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE screens at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival as part of the Show Me the Funny program, which celebrates comedians and the art of comedy.

Remaining Screening Schedule …

Saturday, May 2, 9:00 PM, Fox Theatre

Sunday, May 3, 4:00 PM, Bloor HotDocs Theatre

For more information and for tickets, please visit hotdocs.ca.

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