Liar's Autobiography - The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham
Graham Chapman (actual voice narration), and other voices including
by: Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson and Ben Timlett
Being of that group that grew up emerged in Python’s film
antics, and having discovered the reruns on PBS, naturally this
documentary intrigued and excited me.
The creators found audio of Monty Python's late comedian Graham
Chapman and built his somewhat appropriately deceptive autobiography
around these, infusing various apropos styles of animation and,
it appears, consciences.
That’s not a typo. While the film has such a brilliant concept,
it sadly seems as though an editing opportunity was missed. Cerebral
is one thing…but, following the story line here is often
frustrating while the skip-off-the-words-into-dreamscape in an
often odd silence, followed be all-too-long snippets of a well-diluted
point, near maddening.
I did not know Chapman. I have heard from his Python mates that
he was an extroverted gay fellow who loved to have his fun. The
film makers grab this (it is his life's story after all) and create
a barrage (too many is what I am saying) of penis fancy footage
and cartoons. Maybe, the whole thing was designed for a male audience
member and I am missing something…or the animators were
not told what the other did?
Chapman was, to me, one helluva funny guy. His sexuality wasn’t
his career. Comedy was. I watched hoping to learn about him –
lies and all. But grew utterly impatient, even though the visuals
before me were often extremely gorgeous. And the fact that this
was created long after his passing (amazing), was not lost on
me. The film was.
I would love to ask all readers to seek this out. But, I can not.
I would ask the film crew to step back, breath, and re-edit and
reset. Chapman deserves this to be done right; the heart is there,
now ad some brain behind the heading-towards-brilliant-sections
There may be a good film in there, if it was more streaming and
less discombobulated. And, as a Monty Python fiend, I know how
to view discombobulated and stay on the team’s bumpy thought
rails…not here. Often I was mentally adrift in a Cleese-like
rage he patented towards my screen then Chapman’s voice
would settle me back down. Only to be tormented yet again by the
flights of fancy that seemed dropped in to create time, not a
comedic genius’ time line.