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The TV films
Tony Whitehead

unproductive one for the British cinema. The (partly tongue-in-cheek) contention that ‘while America has come up with Apocalypse Now and Star Wars we’ve been busy making Confessions of a Plumber’s Mate and Holiday on the Buses’4 is more than a little unfair to Ken Russell, Nicolas Roeg, Mike Hodges, Alan Parker, Derek Jarman and the Monty Python team, among others, but it was certainly a period during which a lot of aspiring British film-makers struggled to get a break. ‘The truth is’, Leigh has said, ‘had it not been for the BBC, and I’m not just talking about me here but a

in Mike Leigh
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Sexual politics
Paul Newland

the Monty Python team and Spike Milligan. Indeed, writing about Eskimo Nell in Monthly Film Bulletin, Clyde Jeavons put it that ‘the film’s infectious air of gleeful vengeance and genuine satirical bite give it, against all the odds, a rare claim as a British comedy of the Seventies that is both funny and relevant’.6 Eskimo Nell, like Nobody Ordered Love and Long Shot, also acknowledges its own position as a successfully produced British film in a difficult period, and, as such, as a minor miracle in a time of crisis for the British film industry. So, while Eskimo

in British films of the 1970s
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Graham Linehan – a case study in post-alternative sitcom
Leon Hunt

lack of obvious punchlines, a semi-naturalistic acting style. Big Train is stranger, more oblique and sometimes darker than Linehan’s sitcom work, albeit with the populist addition of recorded laughter.3 Big Train’s style – a mix of surrealism and naturalism – is eccentric and potentially alienating in the same way that Monty Python was. But Linehan’s conception of sitcom is clearly very different – it is a form of ‘entertainment’ with some quirky touches that show the influence of alternative comedy. With the exception of some of Father Ted’s (relatively mild) digs

in Cult British TV comedy
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John Mundy and Glyn White

of an otherwise live-action film, as a sequence as in Terry Gilliam’s animation in episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus , apparently integrated into the action such as in the musical Anchors Aweigh (1945) when Jerry the Mouse dances with Gene Kelly, or in the ambitious combination with live-action in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). In Happy Feet (2006) the CGI animation mixes with live

in Laughing matters
Racial capitalism and workplace resistance
Ben Rogaly

English, so the induction, that tests, that was everything quite … Now I would say from this stance, I would say that was quite a good comedy, Monty Python, you know, because the people couldn’t speak. We couldn’t literally speak even a word in English and yeah, we had inductions, we had tests, so that says everything about the kind of company, how it works, the process is about just getting people in, cheap, I would say, cheap work resources, I don’t know. You know what I mean … [The tests] were real but as soon as we get into the room people, whoever was the

in Stories from a migrant city
Praxis, protest and performance
Lucy Robinson

which it was unclear which side the activists were on. The demonstration was launched by a relatively low key but effectively unnerving gesture. A group of demonstrators began by applauding long after the rest of the crowd had finished and maintained a loud and slow rhythm. This was followed by groups of demonstrators dressed in a wide variety of costumes, some provided by Monty Python’s Graham Chapman who had ‘borrowed’ them from the BBC. Some were dressed as nuns and it was sometimes difficult to tell the difference between these protestors and real nuns, although

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain
Legends of virtual community
Caroline Bassett

:59 Page 150 The arc and the machine authenticating data – pet pictures, spouse pictures, off-screen interests; more importantly they give users a durable or semi-permanent identity online. Simple biographical homepages aside, other popular ‘genres’ of site on GeoCities included specialized resource sites, more-or-less permanent tribute sites, and fan sites (famous early sites included one about Monty Python and one about Hollywood), these last gaining by far the most hits. Many thousands of GeoCities pages remain entirely unedited after construction, and to this

in The arc and the machine
David Hesse

’s experience with music video clips. The New York Times called Highlander hollow and noted that ‘it should surprise nobody if excerpts [of Highlander] appear on the music video channel’. Furthermore, ‘Highlander keeps on exploding for almost two hours, with nothing at stake’.122 Films & Filming magazine called Highlander a piece of ‘unabashed hokum’ and noted that ‘the sequences set in sixteenth century Scotland alternately resemble a Monty Python sketch and an advertisement for Mentholated cigarettes’.123 Few people foresaw the film’s longevity in 1986. Some two years after

in Warrior dreams
Jes Wienberg

as a relic of another time, a time when the elite was supposed to acquire a broad spectrum of knowledge and proficiencies, a cultural code, so as to be able to function in state offices and mix at a distance from the rest of the population. To quote from the film Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975), when King Arthur manages to complicate a question about the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow and is therefore free to cross the Bridge of Death: “Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know!” In more academic terms and with a reference to

in Heritopia
John Mundy and Glyn White

Edna Everage) and Paul O’Grady (as Lily Savage), and has been a resource for television sketch comedians from very varied backgrounds, from Dick Emery and Les Dawson to the performers of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The League of Gentleman and Little Britain. Drag offers a carnivalesque exception to the everyday norms of gender performance, but one which is ambivalent and which ultimately denies

in Laughing matters