Another quote..

“You are very familiar to me.. because of the BBC” – the Dalai Lama to Michael Palin. Not as off-topic as some might imagine. ANYway BBC2 is having a Monty Python moment, or two, tonight [more here – Ed].. although there was an unconscionable delay caused by 22 men kicking a pig’s bladder around some grass somewhere [*ahem* Ed].. including at 11.45pm Terry Gilliam’s excellent Brazil.

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  • I don’t like Palin, his travel program is shite.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks for sharing that, maca… although it’s not up to your usual standard of comment.

  • Blame Steven Staunton.

  • Pete Baker

    Ah.. a crossed-thread.. ;op

  • circles

    Did Sammy Wilson not call the Dalai Lama an orange bastard?

    Maybe not – but words to that effect maybe?

  • That just makes me like the Dalai Lama even more.

  • Crataegus


    Anodyne would be a better way to describe his travel programmes. They are ever so nice. Anyone who has ever been in the back end of nowhere and had to arrange their travel and lodging will know it can get utterly hairy at times and that sense of stress just isn’t there. Also missing is anything truly nasty. It is all sugared over. It is like tea and cucumber sandwiches while watching a village cricket match. Very very English and don’t startle the horses old boy. Strange to think of the Monty lot as rebellious; more a smug and rye comment on the class from which they came, part of the system rather than separate from it?

  • Crataegus


    Brazil is an enjoyable film and like most films the best viewing is the first viewing.

    Let’s widen this out a bit to entertainment generally. There are billions of people on earth and a rich diversity of histories and cultures so why on earth on cable TV do we have;

    1 so many channels relying on repeats of old programmes? If it weren’t for Buffy, Stargate, Star Track, Flash Gordon, Friends, Charmed, the Simpsons what would these channels show? How often do people watch the same programme?
    2 remakes; Why remake the Body snatchers etc over and over, what’s the point in going to see it when you know the ending?
    3 the same dammed history programmes, Elizabeth the First. Henry 8 etc. Why not the 100 years war in France or the Wars of the Spanish succession or the History of Poland, Sweden or Java anywhere, but to sit and watch similar versions of the same thing over and over is madness. Rome, Ancient Egypt, Greece are covered and often poorly and in a fragmented way.
    4 the same books dramatised over and over? Go into any bookshop and lots of books so why on earth do we insist on doing yet another version of Jane Eyre or A Christmas Carol when there already is a perfectly good version?
    5 so many programmes so dumbed down! Watch the average Horizon programme and they stretch out what could be said in a few minutes to a complete programme, and the hammy repetition and style is enough to put anyone off science for life.
    6 so many programmes that rely on sensationalists playing with poisonous snakes. Seen one cobra kissed seen them all!
    7 mushy myopic news programmes. Will there ever be a truly global news channel that is not US and Europe based?

    Should there be a requirement for all channels to produce a percentage of new material?

    Are we such a myopic lot that we only watch what we know, that which is safe and trusted?

    Can we not have programmes that move faster, that test our preconceived notions, that expand our outlook, and that are different.

  • Dualta

    Not going completely off topic or anything like that…ahem…… and on the subject of remakes, seeing Crat brought it up, I watched Charlie and the Chocolate factory last night, the Willy Wonka remake.

    It was brilliant. I was very cynical before watching it, but I was very, very surprised. It was, in some ways, better than the original. The Ooma Loompas failed to rise to the occasion though :oP

  • Rory

    I’m with you there, Crataegus, on the dumbing down of television. But some like to ask us to look back on the golden days but it’s only possible to do that wearing gold-tinted glasses – there never were any golden days. For every occassional programme that touched on history art or science (and they, as you mention, all so limited within a very narrow curriculum) there were a thousand “On the Buses” or “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” types of mind numbing inanity.

    As for satire, I agree it tends to be smug and self-satisfied, comfortably congratulating itself on its own very limited daring.

    But then what can we expect from a self-censoring medium that commissioned and then suppressed Kenneth Griffith’s not very controversial documentary on Michael Collins, Hang out your Brightest Colours, for over thirty years?

    As for philosophy, for-fucking-forget-it! Christ! they don’t even risk teaching it in school. We live in a very controlled society enchained by appearances of freedom.

  • Benn

    As long as we’re cursing the lot, can we take a poke at “reality” tv shows? I don’t watch them as I’ve no interest in seeing couples wolf down insects while crawling through filth, but what does that genre say about our societies? I’m not much into the host gets losers to share their sorrows while the audience hoots and cheers either. And this crap is INTERNATIONAL, syndicated all over the place. Give me Indian music videos any day, at least I’m not associated with their antics in any way shape or form. But back to Michael Palin, sure, it’s far from real, and trite and all that, but I’d rather have people enticed to go out and experience the world than sit at home and watch domestic bollox. I’m am still waiting for him to get to a place where you hear “Bring out your dead!” Cheers, Ben

  • Rory

    You are not off topic at all, Dualta. Indeed given Pete’s original reference to Brazil you are closer to the centre than most, certainly more I.

    Charlie etc was not of my childhood reading so I cannot make comparisons with my childhood literary memories, but I do like cinema and it does not surprise me that Tim Burton (and using Johnny Depp) could not transfer the magical literary to the magical cinema. Edward Scissorhands deserves not Oscars or Baftas or Berlin Bears or Cannes Prix d’Ors or whatever – it deserves a host of angels to trumpet its perfection.

    Gilliam tries and tries and I do like him but Burton seems almost effortlessly to be simply bloody sublime. His Batman is to that genre as The Searchers is to the western – all others that follow but run desperately to catch up.