Fantasia 2015: Monty Python: The Meaning of Live


This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Hot Docs 2015
The famed comedy troupe reunites on stage for the final time in Monty Python: The Meaning of Live.  For the first time in 34 years, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin reunite on stage for a series of performances at the O2 theatre in London.  The group is followed through rehearsals and backstage as they prepare to make their final curtain call.
Forming in 1969, Monty Python is probably one of the most influential comedy troupes, with some even calling them the rock stars of comedy.  Known primarily for their sketch comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus and their three feature films, the group also toured heavily in the 1970s.  Their final live performance was at the Hollywood Bowl in 1980 and this new series of performances marks the last hurrah for Monty Python.  Now all in their 70s, and missing Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, the group find themselves able to jump right back into the old material, feeling like they are kids again.
Monty Python: The Meaning of Live is made up primarily of backstage and rehearsal footage, even though some scenes from the London performances are shown.  One result to come from this film is a desire to seek out and watch the final Monty Python performance in its entirely, which was filmed and streamed into cinemas last year.  The film also touches upon how Monty Python’s material, particularly the infamous dead parrot sketch, became much more funny through the troupe’s live performances.  Altogether, Monty Python: The Meaning of Live is a fine document of the troupe’s final performance.
★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT

  • Sun, July 26, 2:45 PM – Concordia Hall Theatre

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).