Amoeblog

An Easter-Time Movie List For All

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2016 04:07pm | Post a Comment
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter, 14th Century.
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter14th-century manuscript.

Happy Easter! Even though I grew up Jewish and had no idea what a Resurrection was, I knew I liked bunnies, chocolate, treating eggs like an art project, and finding buried treasure in foliage. I was sold on the whole Easter thing. As I matured at some point in the not too distant past, I realized that there was a whole lot more to Easter than baskets full of candy and huge hats. I learned that it was also about birth and rebirth. The symbolism of eggs, Jesus's triumphant return from the dead, and bunnies multiplying like, well, bunnies all lead us to appreciate the foundation of it all: Spring Equinox, the renewal of life on earth. I'm not sure where the chocolate fits in, but I'm not going to question a good thing.

In honor of everyone who can appreciate longer and brighter days, the rejuvenation of all life on earth, and deadly killer rabbits, I bring you this non-denominational Easter-time movie list for all...

Rebel Without A Cause

Nicholas Ray's 1955 magnum opus of teen angst is considered by most to be the first sensitive and Rebel Without A Causerealistic look at troubled, misunderstood youth. Would we have those heart-breaking scene's of Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire (Molly Ringwald), and the gang discussing their troubled home lives in The Breakfast Club without Rebel Without A Cause? I think not. The opening scene in Rebel is set in a police station on Easter night where three high school kids -- Jim Stark (James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood), and Plato (Sal Mineo) -- meet and an unlikely friendship is born. Much drama and generation gap struggles ensue, ultimately leading to one of the character's death by the hands of the police. Rebel remains James Dean's most celebrated film. It was released a month after his death at the age of 24, thus immortalizing him as a beautiful youth forever.
 

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Monty Python’s Flying Circus - 39 years ago today

Posted by Whitmore, October 5, 2008 08:38pm | Post a Comment


39 years ago today
, light ceased radiating; the World stopped spinning, coughed up a hairball, then turned on its side and attempted to shake loose all the other furry dust berries clinging to its nipple-ly peaks. Fearful of this new creepy darkness, the World tried to catch the tail of a passing comet only to stagger badly and get singed by the fiery interloper.

But seconds before collapsing gloomily into one last catatonic stupor, the World accidentally stepped on the remote control, triggering a channel change and so discovered that there was in fact something worthwhile to watch on television.

October 5th 1969, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was unleashed onto the airwaves of the BBC … six rather handsome young gents (Terry Jones and Michael Palin from Oxford, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman from Cambridge and American born Terry Gilliam from a little school in Los Angeles called Occidental College) changed history itself by saving the World, and us, from sheer utter boredom.

(In which we now have something completely different.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 4, 2007 04:29pm | Post a Comment
There’s few things more annoying than a  Monty Python fan. I should know, I am one.

The first thing I ever saw from this most-famous, British comedy troupe was “The Meaning of Life”, their fourth and final film, released in 1983. I was eight. It was completely inappropriate for a child and I still taunt my older sister for taking me to see it.

Being the baby of the family, I was inevitably stuck with my older sister on dates, so all the films I saw as a child were wrong for my age.

My first film was the whimsical and high-spirited “Reds”, based on real-life American Communist, John Reed, and his affair with a married woman. Tee hee! Next, I remember seeing “Gandhi”, that laugh-a-minute movie that’s warmed the cockles of so many tots. Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was a memorable evening for me (I was still small enough to hide under my seat); “Mommie Dearest” caused a temporary phobia of wire coat hangers; watching “Sybil” resulted, ironically, in me developing a split personality to handle the memory of seeing it, and imagine my delight at being the only kid in class to say he’d seen “Chariots of Fire”… twice.


Just another childhood cartoon for Job: Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

In my sister’s defense, she did once take me to see a showing of “Bambi” at her college theatre, but the reel broke just after the forest fire that claims Bambi’s Mommy’s life. Whereas the other kids were crying and traumatized by this, I wasn’t phased. After all, what’s one dead deer when I had already witnessed the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre?

But this isn’t therapy and you’re not a psychologist*, so I won’t pursue this tangent.

Seeing Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” was an influential experience, and, I know, had a tremendous impact on me and my sense of humor. Ask any teacher I had in school. Or, better yet, ask any principal I was sent to.


Eric Idle & Michael Palin

Most fans of Monty Python have seen all there is to see by the group. Besides their TV show, “Flying Circus”, there’s only the four films and the concert footage of their performance at the Hollywood Bowl. So, we must turn to the myriad side-projects from the various cast members.

Most human beings are familiar with John Cleese’s post-Python production “Fawlty Towers”, but have you seen Michael Palin and Terry Jones’ brief TV series “Ripping Yarns”? Ah, ha! I thought not.


Michael Palin & Terry Jones (Can you find the fish?)
“Ripping Yarns” played on the BBC in 1976. It consists of nine episodes that run half an hour, each. They star Michael Palin as the lead, but as every episode is a separate story, so his character changes (Terry Jones only appears in the debut episode and thereafter serves as a writer and director).

The episodes are chock full of the ridiculous type of humor found in “Flying Circus”, though they maintain plot-lines, rather than a constant flux of non-sequiturs and grotesque animation. (Remember that one episode of “Flying Circus” – “The Cycling Tour with Mr. Pither”? That’s a good idea of what “Ripping Yarns” is like.)


Nailing students as a means of hazing. Actually straight out of my freshman year in high school.

Anyway, you fans of Monty Python should check it out. The complete series is available at Amoeba Music’s DVD department. Watch it, memorize it, and then we can all recite the lines at parties and annoy the others, just as we do with our constant exclamations of “Ni! Ni!”

*My apologies to any psychologist who reads this blog and feels discounted by the assumption that no psychologist would read it. It’s not my intent to alienate you and, should you feel hurt by this, I would be happy to prescribe some lithium to ease your suffering.