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September 2019: Autumn in the Southern Chilterns

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Life of Brian
- favourite film

Compared with their television shows Monty Python’s Life of Brian is far more coherent, with a definite plot that can be followed from start to finish, and far more satire about it than their normal deranged sketches. It is also enormously funny . The satire is found in the plot about the mistaken Messiah Brian Cohen and the mindless way his followers take his every word as – well, gospel: “How shall we fuck off oh Lord?” and “Blessed are the cheese-makers.” The film’s success cannot have been hurt by the humourless reaction to it of certain churchmen and the ludicrously self-righteous Mary Whitehouse. And the memorable scene where the People’s Front of Judea members vilify their rivals encapsulates self-destructive socialist groups to this day, as their thoughts on the Romans speak volumes about the one-eyed nature of all politicians: “But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” It is a mark of the film’s enduring hold on the British that Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is an alternative sporting national anthem; and that even those born years after the film’s 1979 release can fill in the missing words if given the lead in: “He’s not the Messiah, he’s...” For those just in from Mars, the answer is “A very naughty boy.”

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Current top 10
1: Oliver!
2: Zulu
3: The Railway Children
4: The Italian Job
5: Life of Brian
6: Trainspotting
7: The Third Man
8: The 39 Steps
9: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
10: Local Hero

Brit Quote:
Money doesn't mind if we say it's evil, it goes from strength to strength. It's a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy - Martin Amis
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On this day:
Scilly Naval Disaster – 2000 Drown - 1707, First Plastic Surgery in Britain - 1814, Blantyre Mining Disaster - 1877, Crippen convicted at Old Bailey - 1910, George Blake Escapes from Wormwood Scrubs - 1966
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