LIFE OF BRIAN:
Most everyone knows the story of the Messiah, a Middle Eastern Jew born via immaculate conception who grows up to become savior of mankind and the foundation of Christian religion.
Life of Brian is not that story.
Rather, it is the story of one Brian Cohen, coincidentally born on the same day as Jesus, in a stable near the one that witnessed the blessed birth. In the film we encounter Brian circa 33 AD, an unexceptional and somewhat bewildered everyman who finds himself mistaken for one of the many mesianic prophets in Judea at that time.
Well, you can see where this is going. The premise, and its execution, are products of the inventive minds of five Brits – Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, and one Yank – Terry Gilliam, collectively known as MONTY PYTHON.
As John Oliver puts it: "This strange group of wildly talented, appropriately disrespectful, hugely imaginative and massively inspirational idiots changed what comedy could be for their generation and for those that followed. ... they've never been afraid to get into trouble, and Life of Brian is the perfect distillation of that."
The concept germinated as the Python troupe sat in an Amsterdam coffee shop after the filming of Holy Grail. "There's never been a biblical comedy film." Then, "We could make it about mistaken identity." Thus the screenplay was born, one that came to satirize Hollywood bible epics, religious fanaticism, class struggle, crazy prophets, the art of haggling, revolutionary groups and occupying beureaucracies alike.
This brilliant, absurdist triumph over pomposity, self-importance, and intolerance went after everything. Except Jesus. In the face of controversy and protest back in the 70s (mostly from those who had not even seen the film) Michael Palin made it clear that Life of Brian did not pick on the figure of Jesus or his empathetic teachings
Now, with the limited re-release we can see and enjoy Life of Brian with the benefit of our life experience. Terry Gilliam: "We made it 40 years ago, but it is so applicable to our world now. Which either says the world never really changes, or it just gets more absurd."
And verily I say unto thee: "Blessed are the cheese makers and the Greek shall inherit the earth." Life of Brian parodies inept bureaucrats, fundamentalism, anti-semitism, a man who wants to be a woman and other tropes that abound today. Who knew? See it with us and let laughter reign anew!
☀ LIFE OF BRIAN, the 40th Anniversary Re-release, director Terry Jones; Trafalgar Releasing; 2019; UK; English; 94 minutes.
☀ DATE & TIME:
Tuesday, April 30, 7 PM
Venue opens at 6:00; seating at 6:30.
the GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St, Cincinnati 45202.
☀ PARKING & DIRECTIONS:
Parking Options Google Map Drone View
Ample parking at affordable rates — 1,700+ garage spaces within two blocks ‐ Gramercy Garage (next door, enter via Race, 7th or Elm streets), Garfield Garage (9th St., next to the Phoenix) and Macy's Garage (7th Street). Another 363 surface lot spaces within a couple blocks, plus numerous on-street meters.
Other transport options include the Street Car, Metro, Tank, Uber, Red Bike, etc.
Adult general admission, $10 advance, $15 door.
Student/ArtsPass general admission, $8 advance, $12 door — must show valid ID upon arrival.
☀ ADA ACCESS: Revamped and improved ADA access, with a direct path to wheelchair spaces and companion seats (no ramps, no stairs). Individuals using walkers or wheelchairs should call ahead to let us know your screening date and time, (859) 957-3456.
☀ DINING & LIBATIONS:
It couldn't be easier — across the street from the Garfield, you'll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks. General Manager Randy Procter is offering CWC patrons an inaugural 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol.
You'll need your online ticket purchase confirmation or ticket stub from the event. Discount valid only for the date of ticket.
Enjoy a pre- or post-film meal or coffee and dessert, or hang at the bar. Hours: TUE-THS - Dining, 5-10 pm; bar 3:30 - midnight. FRI-SAT - Dining 5-11 pm; bar 3:30 - 2:30. SUN - Dining 5-9 pm; bar 3:30 - 1-pm. Dinner reservations are recommended, call 513-954-8974. Check out the menus and photos: thebutcherbarrel.com.