In this adaptation of William S. Burroughs's hallucinatory, once-thought unfilmable novel Naked Lunch, directed by David Cronenberg (Videodrome), a part-time exterminator and full-time drug addict named Bill Lee (Robocop's Peter Weller) plunges into the nightmarish Interzone, a netherworld of sinister cabals and giant talking bugs. Alternately humorous and grotesque—and always surreal—the film mingles aspects of Burroughs's novel with incidents from the writer's own life, resulting in an evocative paranoid fantasy and a self-reflexive investigation into the mysteries of the creative process.
You are now entering Interzone, William S. Burroughs's phantasmagorical land of junk, paranoia, and crawly things. Best travel advice: "Exterminate all rational thought." In David Cronenberg's superbly shot, unnerving warp on the Burroughs novel, the novelist himself becomes a main character (played in an implacable monotone by Peter Weller), with elements from Burroughs' life--including the shooting of his wife during a "William Tell" game, and bohemian friends Kerouac and Ginsberg--added to frame the book's wild visions. This is, ironically, a somewhat rational approach to an unfilmable book (and it makes a hair-curling double bill with Barton Fink, another look at writerly madness, with both films sharing Judy Davis). Cronenberg is a natural for oozing mugwumps and typewriters that turn into giant bugs, of course. But in the end, this is really his own vision of the artistic process, rather than Burroughs's hallucinatory descent into hell. --Robert Horton
This unassuming case is packed with 16 tons of funny: 14 discs of MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS, packed with every episode from the programme's four year run, plus 2 MONTY PYTHON LIVE! discs featuring - well, you figure it out.
While to the uninitiated they may look like ordinary .65 oz. digital video discs, due to the unique physics of comedy (it's like quantum but with fewer dead cats), each disc actually weighs a full metaphoric ton! Please remember to lift with your knees.
Jump right to your favorite sketches in The Flying Circus with this index!
Disc 1: The Funniest Joke in the World, The Wrestling Episode, and Nudge Nudge
Disc 2: Art Critic, Silly Job Interview, and Crunchy Frog
Disc 3: Dead Parrot, Lumberjack Song, and Vocational Guidance Counselor
Disc 4: Undertaker's Film, Upperclass Twit of the Year, and Albatross
Disc 5: The Ministry of Silly Walks, The Spanish Inquisition, and Complaints
Disc 6: The Bishop, Blackmail, and Dung
Disc 7: Attila the Nun, Silly Vicar, and Exploding Penquin on the TV Set
Disc 8: Scott of the Antarctic, Dirty Hungarian Phrase-book, and Exploding Blue Danube
Disc 9: Icelandic Saga, Fish-Slapping Dance, and Argument Clinic
Disc 10: 'Blood, Devastation, War, and Horror', Mount Everest Climbed by Hairdressers, and Gumby Brain Specialists
Disc 11: Cheese Shop, A Naked Man, and The Olympic Hide and Seek Final
Disc 12: Elizabethan Pornography Smugglers, Kamikaze Scotsman, and Penguins
Disc 13: Montgolfier Brothers, Department Store, and RAF Banter
Disc 14: Hamlet and Ophelia, Mr. Neutron, and Most Awful Family in Britain
Disc 15: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Monty Python Live at Aspen
Disc 16: Parrot Sketch Not Included, Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus: German Episode #1
- Weblink to PythonShop.com
- Meet the Chaps
- Pythonism Glossary
- Gillianimations Art Gallery
- Preview Upcoming Episodes
- Troupe Career Highlights
- Post-Python Troup Highlights
- Bleeding Critics
- Confusing Musings
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Selection
New for 2005, The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset packs together the original 14-DVD megaset with the two-disc Monty Python Live in space-saving Thinpaks. While more cautious fans may want to pick and choose among the previously released individual volumes of Monty Python for their collection, true Pythonites will want to own this definitive megaset that contains all 45 episodes (in chronological order) of Monty Python's Flying Circus. This "persistently silly" collection encompasses three-and-a-half seasons of dead parrots, cross-dressing lumberjacks, loonies, upper class twits, and spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, and spam. Click past the occasional clunker and go directly to such signature sketches as the Ministry of Silly Walks, the Spanish Inquisition, the Fish-Slapping Dance, the Dead Parrot Sketch, the Lumberjack Song, the Cheese Shop, the Argument Clinic, and Nudge, Nudge. Taken as a whole, one marvels at how Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam thoroughly subverted television convention with "something completely different," like sketches with no punch lines ("Your average TV viewer isn't going to understand this"). A warning to the uninitiated: there is much "material that some may find offensive, but which is really smashing." Violations of something called the "Strange Sketch Act" are the least of the troupe's offenses, as witness the Oscar Wilde Sketch, the Dirty Vicar Sketch, and the Most Awful Family in Britain Sketch, all of which achieve "the really gross awfulness" all Python fans are looking for. Say no more.
Monty Python TV shows, movies, records, and books are a time capsule of their anarchic lunacy. But more precious is an audience with Python, and as close as we can get is Live at the Hollywood Bowl, the long-sought-after 1982 concert film in which the Fab Six perform their greatest hits before a wildly enthusiastic crowd. Robert Klein moderates Live at Aspen, the irreverent 1998 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival tribute that reunited John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones onstage for the first time in 18 years on the occasion of the troupe's 30th anniversary. Highlights include a shockingly funny moment involving Graham Chapman's ashes, and a joyous "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" sing-along. Less essential is 1989's clip show Parrot Sketch Not Included: 20 Years of Python, which also does not include "The Oscar Wilde Sketch," "Cheese Shop," "Nudge-Nudge," and many other signature sketches. --Donald Liebenson
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- Box set; Color; DVD; NTSC
When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called VIDEODROME. As he unearths the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation. Renn's ordinary life dissolves around him, and he finds himself at the center of a conflict between opposing factions in the struggle to control the truth behind the radical human future of "the New Flesh." Starring James Woods and Deborah Harry in one of her first film roles, VIDEODROME is one of writer/director David Cronenberg's most original and provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence. With groundbreaking special effects makeup by Academy Award-winner Rick Baker, VIDEODROME has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and mind-bending science fiction films of the 1980s, and The Criterion Collection is proud to present it in its full-length unrated edition.
Love it or loathe it, David Cronenberg's 1983 horror film Videodrome is a movie to be reckoned with. Inviting extremes of response from disdain (critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the least entertaining films ever made") to academic euphoria, it's the kind of film that is simultaneously sickening and seemingly devoid of humanity, but also blessed with provocative ideas and a compelling subtext of social commentary. Giving yet another powerful and disturbing performance, James Woods stars as the operator of a low-budget cable-TV station who accidentally intercepts a mysterious cable transmission that features the apparent torture and death of women in its programming. He traces the show to its source and discovers a mysterious plot to broadcast a subliminally influential signal into the homes of millions, masterminded by a quasi-religious character named Brian O'Blivion and his overly reverent daughter. Meanwhile Woods is falling under the spell, becoming a victim of video, and losing his grip--both physically and psychologically--on the distinction between reality and television. A potent treatise on the effects of total immersion into our mass-media culture, Videodrome is also (to the delight of Cronenberg's loyal fans) a showcase for obsessions manifested in the tangible world of the flesh. It's a hallucinogenic world in which a television set seems to breath with a life of its own, and where the body itself can become a VCR repository for disturbing imagery. Featuring bizarre makeup effects by Rick Baker and a daring performance by Deborah Harry (of Blondie fame) as Wood's sadomasochistic girlfriend, Videodrome is pure Cronenberg--unsettling, intelligent, and decidedly not for every taste. --Jeff Shannon
When Chicago musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) accidentally witness a gangland shooting, they quickly board a southbound train to Florida, disguised as Josephine and Daphne, the twonewestand homeliestmembers of an all-girl jazz band. Their cover is perfect...until a lovelorn singer (Marilyn Monroe) falls for Josephine, an ancient playboy (Joe E. Brown) falls for Daphne, and a mob boss (George Raft) refuses to fall for their hoax! Nominated* for 6 Academy Awards(r), Some Like It Hot is the quintessential madcap farce and one of the greatest of all film comedies (The Motion Picture Guide). *1959: Director, Actor (Lemmon), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (B&W), Art Direction (B&W), Costume Design (B&W, winner)
Maybe "nobody's perfect," as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. They vie for the attention of the lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), a much-disappointed songbird who warbles "I'm Through with Love" but remains vulnerable to yet another unreliable saxophone player. (When Curtis courts her without his dress, he adopts the voice of Cary Grant--a spot-on impersonation.) The script by director Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is beautifully measured; everything works, like a flawless clock. Aspiring screenwriters would be well advised to throw away the how-to books and simply study this film. The bulk of the slapstick is handled by an unhinged Lemmon and the razor-sharp Joe E. Brown, who plays a horny retiree smitten by Jerry's feminine charms. For all the gags, the film is also wonderfully romantic, as Wilder indulges in just the right amounts of moonlight and the lilting melody of "Park Avenue Fantasy." Some Like It Hot is so delightfully fizzy, it's hard to believe the shooting of the film was a headache, with an unhappy Monroe on her worst behavior. The results, however, are sublime. --Robert Horton