"The Life of Brian" Case or How to Deconstruct Biblical Epic Films Cover Image

Casus "Żywota Briana" albo jak dekonstruować filmową epikę biblijną
"The Life of Brian" Case or How to Deconstruct Biblical Epic Films

Author(s): Grzegorz Nadgrodkiewicz
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Monty Python; Bible; parody

Summary/Abstract: Nadgrodkiewicz draws on the meta-critical function of film parody in Dan Harries’s Film Parody to try to identify ways in which "The Life of Brian" relates to the tradition of Biblical movies, especially Hollywood productions on the life of Jesus Christ. Nadgrodkiewicz claims that Monty Python’s film is characterized by subversive and deconstructive potential in relation to the Biblical epic films, and that the filmmakers used elements of parody to mock the way in which the Gospels had been depicted. Nadgrodkiewicz points out that "The Life of Brian" is by no means a parody of the life and Passion of Christ, as suggested in film reviews. In his concluding remarks, the author of the essay says that from the historical point of view "The Life of Brian" signalled an extreme exploitation of the formula of the Biblical epic film but it did not mark the end of the tradition of films based on Biblical themes. However, through a play with genre conventions "The Life of Brian" indicated that the themes had gone out of fashion and at the same time – becoming the sign of transgression – had paved the way for a fresher look at Biblical themes.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 56
  • Page Range: 37-46
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Polish