What do you get when you put six white guys, an epic quest, and a foul-tempered rabbit together? A pretty typical trip to PetSmart. Throw in John Cleese and a Holy Hand Grenade, though, and you’ve got Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
This week, UCSB Arts & Lectures celebrates the 40th anniversary of one of the most beloved and quotable movies of all time with a screening of the cult classic at Campbell Hall. Monty Python fans, British humor aficionados, and medieval enthusiasts alike can rejoice in the revival of the mythic story of a noble king in search of immortality and the Holy Grail. The film parodies King Arthur’s quest alongside his Knights of the Round Table, and in true Monty Python fashion, the adventure is equal parts riveting and ridiculous. Laugh along as the gang sings, dances, and struggles to overcome The Black Knight, a rabid rabbit, and the French along the way. The film ranges from satirized historical accounts (witch burnings and knighthood) to the utterly bizarre (like a knight terrified of the word “it” and a sacred explosive bestowed by God). Not surprising, given that the movie was funded in part by rock stars looking for a tax cut. (It’s said that Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Elton John all donated money to the film’s production.)
While the days of floating witches and cutting down trees with herring may be a thing of the past, the eccentricity of Monty Python lives on and is sure to be even more hilarious on the big screen. Besides, where else can you watch one actor (Michael Palin) play twelve roles in the span of one film?
Grab your horse or coconut shells and quest to UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for UCSB students. For tickets and information, call (805) 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.