“Time Bandits” to be screened on Art House Theater Day 2016

The first inaugural Art House Theater Day will be celebrated on September 24, 2016 and will feature screenings of the 2K digital restoration of “Time Bandits” at art house theaters across the United States.

Texas Theatre have created a “Time Bandits”-inspired trailer, “Theater Bandits,” to celebrate the screenings. You can watch it here.

In recent decades, a colorful constellation of art houses has emerged across the globe. This art house movement has nurtured a flourishing ecosystem of adventurous audiences, independent productions, and an incredible diversity of original filmmaking. Art House Theater Day is a worldwide celebration in honor of this movement, a day to celebrate cinemas that stand the test of time and the tremendous film culture that art house theaters promote.

Art House Theater Day will provide a new generation the chance to see “Time Bandits” once again on the big screen.

To find out what cinemas are screening the film, and to find out more about Art House Theater Day, visit here or follow Art House Theater Day on Facebook and Twitter.

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It’s… The Big Vintage Merchandise Sale!

Today, we’ve launched a sale of all the Monty Python “Vintage Merchandise,” available in our Online Store.

Get 30% off of all vintage products in our online store by using the code PYVINTAGE30 at checkout. 
 
Offer ends 30 September 2016.

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Terry Jones to be Honoured at 25th British Academy Cymru Awards

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in Wales, BAFTA Cymru, has announced that Terry Jones will be presented with the BAFTA Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television at this year’s awards, on 2 October 2016. 

Terry J said of the announcement: “I am proud and honoured to be recognised in this way and I am looking forward to the celebrations.”  

Terry J’s personal representative took the opportunity to publicly announce the news that Terry has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a variant of Frontotemporal Dementia.  Terry G, Mike, Eric & John said of this announcement:  “Terry is greatly loved by us all and we will offer whatever support we can. He’s still a treasured part of Python and will always remain so, not just to us but to all his fans around the world. We’re very much aware that his family are bearing the brunt of his illness and would urge people to respect their privacy.”

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John Cleese at “Holy Grail” Screenings in the U.S. in January 2017

ust announced! John Cleese will be in the U.S. in January for a number of screenings of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” followed by a live conversation and audience Q&A.  Dates and venues announced so far are:

 
14 January – Providence Performing Arts Centre, Rhode Island.  Tickets go on-sale TODAY, 7 October here.

20 January – The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Maine.  You can access the PRE-SALE tickets using the password: GRAIL here. Pre-sale ends Monday 10 October at 10pm.

 
22 January – The Chicago Theatre, Chicago.  Tickets go on-sale TODAY, 7 October, here.  

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Terry J presented with the BAFTA Cymru Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television

Last night, Michael presented Terry J with his BAFTA Cymru Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television, acknowledging Terry J’s 50 years of contribution to film and TV.

In his speech, Michael shared fond memories of his friendship and work with Terry: “My friend Terry has really come home tonight. He was always very proud of his Welshness, even though John Cleese used to think it was the root of all his problems… We were both at Oxford… I was immediately drawn to him. Life seemed more exciting when Terry was around… When Monty Python came together in 1969, Terry quickly established himself at the very heart of the group… When the first series eventually came out it was Terry who made sure that he recorded and stored the videos of all the programmes in his garage… [Terry’s] force of character and tireless workaholism kept us all up to the mark and the results were “Holy Grail” and “Life of Brian”… One of Terry’s finest creations is from “The Meaning of Life.” It was the song “Every Sperm is Sacred.” In coming to the end of his speech, Mike said, “Terry has been relentlessly prolific, whilst remaining the nicest man, and the most wonderful friend. For all the joy and the pleasure and the laughter and the stimulation he’s brought to so many people, I can think of no one more worthy of recognition tonight.”

Terry’s son, Bill, accompanied him to the stage to collect the award. On being handed the award Terry jokingly held it up to his face as a mask.

Bill, on Terry’s behalf, thanked everyone, adding: “I know it’s a great honor for dad to win this award. The struggles we’ve been going through … We are so proud of him.”

John Cleese tweeted congratulations to “Terry ‘Creosote’ Jones, a hugely imaginative writer, a great Monty Python director, the best Pepperpot, and a lovely friend.”

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Help Fund the Final Book in Terry J’s Medieval Adventure Trilogy

After much discussion with Terry J’s family, Unbound are continuing to crowd fund his last book, the third and final part of his medieval adventure trilogy, “The Tyrant and the Squire”.

The book is written but they need to fund the publication. It’s currently 55% funded and everyone involved would love to get this fully funded in time to give Terry a copy of the finished book by his 75th birthday in February 2017.

You can become part of the project and pledge your support here.

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Monty Python’s First Farewell Tour of Canada (1973)

“Monty Python’s First Farewell Tour of Canada”
From Toronto to Vancouver
4-20 June, 1973

As the Pythons’ U.K. shows were progressing in Spring 1973, it was proposed that the tour be extended to Canada, where the TV series was being broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Summer in Canada seemed exotic,” Eric Idle said in “Monty Python Live!” (the book about the Python’s live shows to 1980), “and the money was very tempting.”

On With The Show

It was the group’s first trip to North America, and their first taste of the continent’s Python fans. “When we got to [Toronto] airport we went through customs, and there was this huge cheer, hundreds of fans,” Idle said in “The Python Autobiography.” “We all looked behind us because we thought a rock ‘n’ roll group was coming in and it was us, they were waiting for us!”

John Cleese remembers the Canada tour as “a little chaotic”; the others remember the tour as the occasion when Cleese announced he did not want to do a fourth Python series, preferring his industrial films and the odd movie to the grind of a weekly TV show. He also begged off traveling with the group following the tour as they continued on to TV appearances in America.

“I flew up to Toronto, where they greeted me with the news that they were never going to work together again after this tour,” recalled U.S. publicity manager Nancy Lewis in “Monty Python Speaks.” “Here I’ve been knocking myself out trying to get them on the air … oh, wonderful. That’s good news!”

The group performed to boisterous fans in cities across Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa (where, according to the Ottawa Citizen, a live duck was found to have “expired and gone to meet its maker” following the “Cocktail” sketch), Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg (where the entire front row was dressed as a caterpillar), Regina and Vancouver (where a PR stunt landed all the Pythons in a giant cage).

A slowdown by airline workers on strike caused some of the scenery to miss certain engagements, prompting last-minute changes in the rundown, and leaving the crew having to come up with a dead parrot in Calgary a few hours before the curtain went up.

Once the tour wrapped in Vancouver, the five Pythons who weren’t named Cleese traveled to San Francisco and Los Angeles, where they got their first taste of American media’s interest in the group – and disinterest. This was uncomfortably tested in their appearance before a befuddled audience on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” guest-hosted by Joey Bishop. (“There was just a deadness,” said Nancy Lewis. “I was ready to slash my wrists!”) Their performance nonetheless would enter into legend, as all non-Johnny Carson-hosted episodes of the era were later wiped – lost to the ether.

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Monty Python’s Big Red Book

“Monty Python’s Big Red Book”
Editor: Eric Idle
Publisher: Eyre Methuen
Publication Date: 1971 (Hardcover); 1972 (Paperback)
Combined with “The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok” and reissued, under the titles “The Complete Works of Shakespeare and Monty Python: Vol. 1 – Monty Python” (1981) and “The Monty Python Gift Boks” (1986).
 

 

The Pythons’ first book ingeniously captured the spirit of the series, while also playing with the parameters of a printed book. Despite the title, it has little in common with Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book” (or even with the color red).

Contents

ITN Newsreader Forewords; Classified Ads; Ken Shabby & Rosemary – A True Love Story of Our Times; “Why Accountancy Is Not Boring,” by Mr. A. Putey; Naughty Pages; An election guide to the Silly Party’s roster of candidates; A report on the Batley Townswomen’s Guild’s Productions; E.D. Silly’s Page; “Spam Song”; Poetry; The World Encyclopedia of Carnal Knowledge; Australian Page; Children’s Story; “Blackmail!”; “Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong!”; A New Version of “The Importance of Being Earnest”; A Souvenir Photo of Sir Kenneth Clark; Le Pouff Celebre; Madam Palm Writes; The Family Tree of Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern …; Radio Times Report on the Upper Class Twit of the Year Competition; “Lumberjack Song”; Do-It-Yourself Story; Goats’ Page; “Old Boys” Nazis; Whizzo Chocolates; Selections from the Hungarian-English Phrasebook; Johnson’s Novelties; How to Walk Silly; Be a Modern Hermit; The Poems of Ewen McTeagle; The Piranha Brothers; Python Literary Guild.

The Making of

The challenge of adopting television sketches to print form was especially attractive to Eric Idle, who was contacted by Methuen about the possibility of a Python book. He took on the job of editor.

Derek Birdsall and Katy Hepburn were responsible for the graphic design and layout, incorporating many of Gilliam’s illustrations.

Because the design of the fake newspaper pages and advertisements is so close to the real thing, the humor is as successful as when the TV series accurately mimics the “real” TV programmes it is parodying.

Reception

The book sold out its first two printings within two weeks, and vaulted onto the bestseller lists. To date it has sold more than a half-million copies.

At least one reader of “Big Red Book” was not laughing. While libel laws might protect the humorist from the victims of his parody, copyright laws are another matter. Shortly after the book’s release, the Pythons received a letter of complaint from a music publisher whose trade names had been borrowed to give the Python’s sheet music for “Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong” an extra degree of verisimilitude. To avoid an injunction against sales, the sheet music pages underwent a revision in all subsequent copies.
Read more at https://web.archive.org/web/20161106204104/http://www.montypython.com/book_Monty%20Python’s%20Big%20Red%20Book/22#oAfr5GFDjLHW8fuA.99

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Monty Python and The Holy Grail (Book)

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Book): Mønti Pythøn Ik Den Hølie Gräilen (Bøk)”
Designer: Derek Birdsall
Publisher: Eyre Methuen
Publication Date: 1977 (Paperback)

The “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” screenplay is reproduced along with numerous production stills and storyboards.

Contents

Monty Python’s Second Film (First Draft); Lobby Cards; Final Draft of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” Including Unfilmed Scenes; Production Stills, Contact Sheets, Storyboards and Terry Gilliam Doodles; Statement of Financial Position and Cost of Production Statement (from chartered accountants Bryce Hammer & Co.)

The Making of

“It’s amazing,” John Cleese says in “The Python’s Autobiography,” “if you look at the first draft of ‘Grail’ how little of that appears in the movie, it’s about 10 percent of the first draft. But I remember Mike and Terry reading out the coconuts thing which gave us a key to a certain approach of how to do it.”

The desire among the group to do a movie was strong, and the disappointments of “And Now for Something Completely Different” meant they wanted to avoid another sketch film. In the TV series, with “The Cycling Tour,” they had already played with a single sketch running the length of an entire show, so a single narrative had already been explored. But it was in fits and starts that the film’s over-arching narrative (which allowed for a bunch of sketches tied together) became a medieval parody featuring King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

The initial draft of “Holy Grail” actually spanned centuries, with scenes set in a modern-day Harrods, where the Grail is found.

“I was more keen on keeping the narrative in the Arthurian world than making jokes about Harrods,” said history degree-bearer Michael Palin. “I was interested in creating his world and making the convention, the background setting, so convincing that you don’t have to defuse it, you don’t have to apologize for it, you don’t want to leave it.”

When it was decided (though the passionate campaigning of Terry Jones) to keep the film in the Middle Ages, that opened the gates to material that was both modern in temperament (Constitutional Peasants, Castle Anthrax) and true to the heroic tradition of Arthur and his knights.

The finished script is fresh, inventive, unashamedly violent (the menacing Black Knight has all his limbs severed but refuses to give up the fight) and pointedly anarchic (even God put in an appearance, as an eye-rolling cartoon figure).

The published shooting script includes cuts and unfilmed scenes, such as Sir Alf (Arthur: “I didn’t know we had a Sir Alf.”) and King Brian the Wild, who seeks close harmony groups that he can have executed.

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The Life of Brian: Monty Python’s Scrapbook

“The Life of Brian: Monty Python’s Scrapbook”
Editor: Eric Idle
Contributing Editor: Michael Palin
Designers: Basil Pao, Mike Diehl
Publisher: Eyre Methuen
Publication Date: 1979 (Paperback)

This oversized book is actually two books printed back-to-front – a reproduction of the screenplay, and a scrapbook of deleted scenes and original material. The book you read depends on which side you start it on.

Contents

The screenplay of “The Life of Brian (of Nazareth)” is reproduced with a generous helping of production stills.

The “Monty Python Scrapbook” features dialogue from deleted or unfilmed scenes, such as Brian preaching about forced sex, his encounter with the psychopathic beggar, and the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night.

There is also an introduction by Squadron Leader Bigglesworth; name-dropping diary entries by Terry Jones and Michael Palin from the Pythons’ Caribbean sojourn where the screenplay was polished; “Monty Python’s First Ten Years,” a tribute by Queen Elizabeth; a list of what film stars should take with them on location (No.1: A bottle-opener); cinema quizzes; Palin’s letter from Tunisia; how much Brian actually had to feed the multitudes; “What to Do If You Win a Granny”; excerpts from “Sharing” magazine, such as Palin’s memoir, “Sharing a Caravan With John Cleese”; iIlustrations from Terry Gilliam’s animated opening titles; the script of a trailer featuring the aliens; the sports page of the Jerusalem Advocate; lyrics of the “Otto Song,” “All Things Dull and Ugly,” and for some reason, the Bruces’ “Philosophers’ Song”; a list of medications brought to Tunisia by crew doctor Graham Chapman; an appreciation by Graham Greene; and a helpful guide on what to do after the movie’s over.

The Making of

The strength of the “Life of Brian” script comes from the story grounded in very real characters and their situations (despite a passing spaceship – but hey, it could happen!).

When asked how he approached the creation of characters, such as Ben, the prisoner who taunts Brian, Palin said, “I think they are very instinctive. Certainly it’s the way I write. I just write something which comes into my head, or a situation, and it comes out like that, and then probably at the end you can make a connection: ‘Ah yes, I can see where this comes from.’ But at the time it feels very intuitive.

“Unlike Ben, who was created from nowhere, Pontius Pilate was a legitimate historical character, part of the Bible story, [therefore] he had to be dealt with. How do you deal with this man? I must have felt: ruling class, British ruling class, very often distinguished through some aristocratic inbreeding by vowel difficulties of some kind, or vocal distinctions I think it might have come form there.

“Pilate never acknowledges that he has a problem at all. This is the wonderful thing, again I think this just have come in my mind from listening to Violet Bonham Carter or people like that, the English aristocracy. They have vewy stwange ways of tawking, and they doughn’t think eet’s vewy extwawdinawy at awl!”

But just as the film faced possible prosecution for blasphemy in the British courts, so, too, did the book. Publisher Eyre Methuen was concerned after the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation banned a radio documentary about the making of “Life of Brian” (which included clips from the film). When asked his opinion on whether the book of the screenplay and deleted scenes might risk a similar fate, a Canadian lawyer said yes: “I am most concerned with the traditional book-banning groups so long accused of narrow-mindedness in prosecuting and persecuting books about sex, who will jump on this book as a move to clear their reputation.”

He also warned that a judge or jury might find elements of the film (and script) to contain “scurrilous, offensive, contumelious abuse to sacred subjects.”

Awaiting word whether the film would pass the U.K. censors, Methuen feared being liable in criminal proceedings, as blasphemy was a criminal offense. Among the areas of concern was the “Scrapbook”‘s scene between Solly and Sarah, a young pregnant woman who relates how she was ravished by a “Holy Ghost.”
The Pythons stood firm unwilling to make changes to the book (which had been published in the United States with no censorship), and after the film was given an “AA” stamp of approval by the British censors, Methuen moved forward.

… Except when it came to the printers, who had consulted their own lawyer, none other than the man who had successfully prosecuted Gay News and worked as an adviser to the Festival of Light, a group that advocated against sexually-explicit material in the media. Consequently, the first printing of the book had the unique distinction of being printed by TWO printers – one for the screenplay, and one for the “Scrapbook.”

Reception

While the film itself was banned in Ireland, Norway, parts of America’s Bible Belt, and several communities in the United Kingdom, the printed screenplay was also banned in South Africa, where it joined “Monty Python’s Big Red Book” and “The Brand New Monty Python Bok” on its list of “objectionable literature” deemed to be prejudicial to the South African government.

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