And Now For Something (Absolutely Anything)
At 11.35pm on Thursday the 26th of January 2012 (A.D.), I read that Monty Python were reforming to do another film. Like millions of other Python fans, I wet myself.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Monty Python, they are a comedy group from the’ 60s and ’70s, the majority (bar Palin and Jones who met at Oxford) hail from Cambridge University’s infamous Footlights Dramatics Club; their influences vary from Spike Milligan to Peter Cook, and they specialise in surreal humour pronounced by bizarre animatation courtesy of the legend Terry Gilliam. Their films have been banned in certain states of America, caused outrage in religious campaigners and succeeded in being so unlike any other style of comedy that they unintentionally coined the term ‘Pythonesque’, that is now in the Oxford English Dictionary, described as “Deoniting or resembling the absurdist or surrealist humour or style of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a British Television series (1969-74)”.
What ‘Pythonesque’ describes is why I, and I’m sure many others, are so excited by the news. There was nothing like them then and there has been nothing like them since. We want them to stay the same, exactly as different to everything else as they always were – just a bit older and with one of the members, Graham Chapman, sadly now deceased (which apparently hasn’t stopped him from starring in a film of his own).
In keeping with their three previous films, Absolutely Anything is directed by Terry Jones. It’s plot revolves around a group of aliens, who grant an unwitting Englishman absolute power and watch the havoc he wreacks.
‘Alright ..’ I thought. ‘This could be good, as long as it doesn’t have any CGI’.
The film will be part live action and part CGI.
Though Gilliam hasn’t been mentioned in regards to the animation side of the project, Producer Chris Chesser promises “Pythonesque, Gilliamesque effects”.
“-Esque” could be the thing to watch out for here.
In Absolutely Anything the Python members will be donating their voices to slightly characterised aliens and Robin Williams has been confirmed as a dog, potentially a jack russel and also possibly a character named ‘The Frenchman’.
So far, so odd, so good.
The details as to how this all came about (after a 16 year absence) remain sketchy “I just like having friends around” Jones quips truthfully, but he also promises that “It’s turned in to a very funny film!” And when quizzed as to whether it has any subliminal messages in regards to the current British Government or the upcoming US presidential elections Jones reinforced the point “I hope not. But maybe, I just wanted to make a funny film”.
Good for you Jones, I like your style.
And so, it is here that I lay down my prejudice against CGI, I smother the whispers of doubt in my mind and I await with breath that is baited; trusting these dons of comedy to do a bloody funny job; because when have they ever done anything else?
Oh, and that’s not really a question. It’s one of them rhetorical thingies.
This was written by Jade Fitton. You can read more of her words by visiting her handsome blog: