Tribeca: Monty Python 40th Anniversary Celebration Planned

Ludwig Shammasian
Members of Monty Python onstage during one of their farewell shows at London's O2 Arena.

The New York film festival will host a special screening of 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail,' with members of the comedy group in attendance; premiere the documentary 'Monty Python — The Meaning of Live'; and screen other classic Python films.

Monty Python fans should mark their calendars for the final weekend of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, which will feature several screenings to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

That film will screen at New York's Beacon Theatre on Friday, April 24, with the five surviving members of the comedy group (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin) in attendance. Tickets for that event will go on sale on March 23 at tribecafilm.com.

“It is hard to believe that Holy Grail was first shown 40 years ago,” said Paula Weinstein, executive vp of Tribeca Enterprises. “The film is so brilliant and the Pythons’ influence on contemporary comedy in cinema and television is so enduring that it feels as fresh today as it did decades ago. We are honored to welcome the Pythons to Tribeca and to share stories of their groundbreaking process with our audience through the international premiere of Monty Python — The Meaning of Live.”

Palin added, "The Pythons are looking forward very much to the Tribeca Film Festival and the chance to meet anyone who can remember why we made Monty Python and the Holy Grail. All we know is that it was a documentary about coconuts that rather lost its way. If anyone at Tribeca can explain why we made it and didn't call it Braveheart then our visit to New York will not have been wasted."
 
Gilliam also chimed in, saying of Holy Grail: "It’s amazing how lack of money saved us from mediocrity. We couldn’t afford real horses."

The festival will also host the international premiere of the documentary Monty Python — The Meaning of Live, about the group's history onstage and the origins of some of its most well-known pieces. The feature-length doc, directed by Roger Graef and James Rogan, takes viewers behind the scenes as the group prepares for its finale live shows at The O2. That film will premiere on Saturday, April 25.

The festival will also screen Monty Python's Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life on April 25 and 26, respectively. Each film presentation will be followed by a Q&A with some of the members of Monty Python.

The Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 15-26.

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