Python looks back

Monty Python: Almost the Truth (the Lawyer’s Cut), the six-partretrospective celebrating 40 years of silly walks and odes tolumberjacks

Monty Python: Almost the Truth (the Lawyer’s Cut), the six-part retrospective celebrating 40 years of silly walks and odes to lumberjacks by the irreverent British comedy troupe, is at times reverential and revelatory, celebratory and silly.

But the one thing filmmakers Bill Jones (son of Python Terry Jones) and Ben Tillman definitely did not want their documentary to be is — as Jones puts it — “a—-kissing.”

“The main thing we wanted to do was make sure we weren’t sucking up to them too much,” Jones adds.

“So we stick it in them a couple times.”

“We wanted to be irreverent in a sense like they are,” Tillman completes the thought.

The pair have known each other since the age of 4, and in 1998 formed the film company Bill and Ben Productions, working on films about the Sex Pistols and the Clash, among others.

“We open the film with taking a p— (at the Pythons),” Tillman continues, “and then ...”
“Well it’s also a bit easier to do that when they’re a bit rude about each other as well,” Jones chimes in. “They don’t really care.”

“But mostly the piece is the entire history of the Pythons told chronologically,” Tillman finishes. “This is ultimately what we set out to create.”

And, ultimately, it may very well be the definitive Monty Python documentary.

Having spent so much time documenting the Monty Python crew, we asked the filmmakers what they believe is the group’s most important mark on comedy.

“For me, the most important thing they’ve done is to give people the freedom to do whatever comedy they think is funny,” Jones says.

“They’ve given people an opportunity to create a new kind of funny,” Tillman adds.

Almost the truth
Monty Python: Almost the Truth (the Lawyer’s Cut) is now avaialble on DVD.

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