Friday, 5 October 2012

Private Screening of A Liar's Autobiography - 4 October 2012

Curzon Cinema, Shaftesbury Avenue
As if there hadn't been enough Monty Python-related coincidences in my life already, there I was sailing down the Thames last week when I bump into Emma Wilkinson of Adobe UK who promptly invites me to a private screening of A Liar's Autobiography, before she has any idea that she was talking to a real Python devotee!

I already knew quite a bit about the movie and was already going to the UK premiere on 16th October, so to be invited to this too as a result of a chance meeting was wonderful, if not a little spooky!

A message from our hosts: A behind-the-scenes mini documentary on the vital role Adobe's Premiere Pro CS6 played in the making of the film

Some characters in the film in one of the many animation styles, including Graham Chapman, top left who took up smoking from an early age...
After the screening, there was a Q & A with  (left to right) Justin Weyers, animation producer, three animators who each created their own separate scenes, two of the three directors, Ben Timlett and Bill Jones (Terry Jones's son, with mic), and the Adobe host.

Our goodie bag and its contents: a copy of the book and a tin of spam! The bag design by Maddie Wagg is interesting. Graham Chapman is drawn entirely from abusive words and phrases such as "Wanker, Faggot, Bugger off, Fairy, Scallywag" as influenced by the start of the movie, which I will not ruin for you. 
A Chapman family scene (in another of the many animation styles) that has been my phone's wallpaper for months
The after party at Lvpo Bar, Dean Street.  Left to right: Me, Ben Timlett, and three very talented animators. Photo by
Me with the star of the film himself, Graham Chapman whom I never met so this is the closest I'm ever going to get, and Bill Jones. Photo by
4 October was a very appropriate day to hold the screening, as it was the 23rd anniversary of Graham's death. And as a matter of interest, 5 Oct 2012 is the 43rd anniversary of the first broadcast of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Believe it or not, this was the first 3D movie I had ever seen, and I absolutely loved it. But it's all too much to take in, so I have to see it again! There's so much to discover in it. To have the story told in so many different animation styles is such an original idea, and I'm sure Graham would be very happy to think he had helped these companies, each bursting with talent, receive the attention they all deserve.

A Liar's Autobiography hits you hard with some fairly graphic imagery of Graham's real life as well as what was going on in his head. My test of how good a movie is, is based on the answer to these questions: do scenes and images from it stay with me at all, and if so, for how long? Well the movie ended about 8 hours ago and my head is still swimming with scene after scene, and I don't predict much of a change for about a week! It gives you so much to talk about too!

You would expect to find plenty of vulgarity, nudity, sex, excess, debauchery, irreverence, insanity and a huge dose of scatological humour in an autobiographical movie about the insane and insanely talented Graham Chapman. A Liar's Autobiography certainly does not disappoint...

If you can think beyond the mindless blockbuster thriller or romcom, this movie is for you. You've got to go and see it! It goes on general release in the UK in January 2013. I predict it's going to win many awards. My hearty congratulations to everyone involved for making such an incredible movie, for bringing Graham back to life, allowing us to meet him and to look inside his head.

Needless to say, I had a fantastic evening and thank you so much Emma for inviting me, and thank you Adobe! Now, I really fancy a cucumber sandwich...

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