Friday, September 12, 2008

Top Films: "One, Two, Five!"

Comedy is in part a matter of taste. There are a lot of ways to produce laughter, from “it’s funny ‘cause it’s true” to slapstick to pun-humor. Since at least the advent of Surrealism one of the favored methods of comedy has been absurdity. Monty Python perfected the art of the non sequitur and things have never been the same.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the best known and loved movie the troop produced. It strings a bunch of sketches together with the theme of the tales of Arthur and the knights of Camelot. It is nonsense at its finest.
Except that it is not all mere absurdity and nonsense.
Sci-Fi and Horror may be the best genres for presenting unpleasant or controversial commentary about society and getting away with it, but comedy is often the best way to really critique the world around you. If people are laughing they may not get quite so mad. Later on, with “Life of Brian,” the Pythons would not achieve so much acceptance, but here in Grail they make some pretty good digs at things they have problems with in our society.
The swallow sketch reflects the way we like to sound intelligent talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. The witch sketch shows how gullible the masses are and how they love to follow stupidity presented as logic. The Black Knight is a good illustration of assurance does not always equal success. The political peasant is a direct dig at the monarchy. That is just a few of the many things being said in this film.
Of course, all that being said, it is still just a surreal exercise in seeing how much absurdity an audience will take. It is hugely quotable and laugh-inducing, but in the end it does fi

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