Mayor wants Python film ban ended

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

from BBC Wales...
Monty Myth-on

The myth that the Monty Python film, Life of Brian, was banned in Aberystwyth for nearly 30 years was laid to rest by Aberystwyth University student Rory Hogan in March 2009. Find out the true story about the ban that never existed:
CLICK HERE to read the article.

Woa, deja vu, man. :mrgreen:

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

UPDATE:

There are now links to images of the Cambrian News "Five Wise Men" article and Commodore advertisement from this BBC article, mentioned above.

Appropriately (or not), these were added on April 1st !!!! :lol:

I wonder though, is this anything more than so much archaeology? Perhaps we need more evidence before leaping to conclusions?

:?:

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

Our local newspaper ran an article on April the 9th, bearing the title:

Cambrian News archives reveal Python film was never banned!

which you might think would be clear enough, wouldn't you?

I discovered that Life of Brian returned to the Commodore in March 1982 as a double-bill with Airplane, and had a further six showings. Thus it had at least fourteen showings in Aberystwyth well before the Pythons ever came here - some ban !

In spite of this, BBC Wales have produced a "documentary" called Monty Python in Aberystwyth in which they seem to claim that it was banned for 30 years, although they do mention the March 1981 showings very briefly. This is a contradiction, of course, besides, we know that the sub-committee of five Ceredigion councilors passed Life of Brian, they didn't ban it. The screenings were all perfectly legal and there's no reason to believe otherwise.

It's on BBC2 in Wales tonight at 10pm. If you're not in Wales, it's on Youtube.

In my view the whole premise of the show had been completely undermined and it is totally flawed. It may even breach OFCOM regulations.

I noticed that quite a few of the people involved in the making of this show have had some involvement with Doctor Who or related series, including the Director, Producer and one executive Producer. Avowed atheist Russell T Davies is featured extensively and the narrator is David Tennant.

The show appeared with astonishing rapidity on various illegal torrent websites (keep well clear of those) and was posted on YouTube by "AtheistMediaBlog" - no surprise there.

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by simonwheeler »

Glasgow finally overturns 'Life of Brian' ban
Taken from (an Irish site!) here
A ruling which effectively banned Monty Python's 'Life Of Brian' from a city's cinemas for 29 years was lifted today.

Councillors agreed to overturn the ban so the film can be screened in September at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

In 1980, the Glasgow licensing committee decided that the film could be shown only under an X certificate at cinemas licensed by the authority - not the AA-certificate given at the time by the British Board of Film Censors.

Today's change of heart followed a plea from the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) for that decision to be overturned to enable a special screening for the film under the 15-certificate given by the British Board of Film Classification.
This confirms your posting, Ian, of Sept last year..... :!:
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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

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As I understand it, the effect of re-certifying the film as Cert X would effectively be the same thing as a ban because the distributors (someone correct me if I'm wrong) refused to allow it to be shown as Cert X.

Interesting that these local bans were all put in place by exploiting loop-holes, like public health legislation. This sort of begs the question, do these loop-holes still exist?

This Scottish article cites Stephen Green:
But Stephen Green, director of the radical campaign group Christian Voice, which has organised protests against shows such as Jerry Springer: The Opera, said: "We know Glasgow was the last place in the country to keep the ban in place, as the only other area, Aberystwyth, had a screening a couple of months ago. It is a bit of a shame it's now been granted a licence in Glasgow, but it shows how much we have let standards slip."
Some interesting comments at the bottom...

I recently discovered that as well as The Exorcist, Last Tango in Paris was also banned by Ceredigion District Council.

A good few of the films shown in local cinemas in Aber in the mid 1970's were "golden oldies" some of which had already been televised. The first film shown in the Commodore was "The Man who would be King" which was already two years old. The first film I saw there in the '70's was "Jason and the Argonauts" (IMDB says the release date was 1963 !!!!). They showed Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" as late as 1982.

The truth is, film distribution is a lot better today than it was, partly because the film industry is so much bigger. Small single screen cinemas in small Welsh towns were not the highest priority for the distributors - they just took the best of what was on offer. These days all the releases are pretty fresh and the days of the double-bill of "golden oldies" is pretty much over.

So why did we in Aber wait over 14 months before Life of Brian came around ? Well I don't know, but I have suspicions that there may have been distribution issues. The multiplexes in the big cities would have had the first shout and were probably able to hang on to Life of Brian for longer, because of the situation with the local bans.

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

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Many of the BBC's own articles on the Life of Brian Ban in Aberystwyth now have the following foot-note appended to them:
EDITOR'S NOTE (added in April, 2009): It was thought for many years that Life of Brian had been banned in Aberystwyth, and Sue Jones-Davies wanted to get it shown there on that basis.

But it subsequently emerged that although councillors in the county Ceredigion formed a sub-committee in 1981 to watch the film, and found parts "quite unacceptable", they allowed it to be shown. However, the belief persisted among some for decades that there was a ban.

For more information:

Monty Myth-on
I'm now getting a lot more Google Alerts because of the Glasgow stuff about LoB including this one from The Register:
Willie O'Rourke of the council's licensing committee explained: "The world, and people's attitudes, have moved on."
Well, most people.

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

Someone on the TES forum has made the following comment:
Bit of a non-story this one.

I recall seeing Life of Brian in double bill with Airplane in the early 80s in Glasgow.

It wasn't a one-off art-house performance but a weeks run at a mainstream city centre picture house.
CLICK HERE for the forum, it's comment no. 6.

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

from the BBC...
Record university freshers intake

Aberystwyth University says it is welcoming a record intake of student freshers for a second successive year.
Fresher numbers are up 12.5% !!!

CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Grahame »

From The Herald Diary yesterday...
Ex-Python Michael Palin was recalling at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall yesterday that Glasgow had banned the Python film Life of Brian some 30 years ago.

“They did the same in Aberystwyth, but last year Sue Jones-Davies was elected as mayor of Aberystwyth, and she actually appeared naked in the film. I think she was in the script as ‘Welsh tart’,” said Michael.

“So she got the ban overturned.”
>Linky<
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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

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I have the book of the script. Having just wiped all the dust off it, It's dedicated to Keith Moon. According to the Dramatis Personae Sue's character is listed as "Judith, a beautiful Revolutionary". Apparently the character's full name was intended to be "Judith Iscariot" but I don't think it was ever mentioned in the film. Neither is it mentioned in the book but John Cleese mentioned it (I think) on the commentary of the Criterion Edition DVD. The phrase "Welsh Tart" was used in the nude scene by Terry Jones character, described in the Dramatis personae as "The Virgin Mandy, the mother of Brian (A ratbag)".

There's quite a lot of difference between the final film and the published script.

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

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A belated epitaph to this whole affair...

An academic from the University of Leicester actually quoted something I posted here in one of his academic papers:
In contrast, aside from the belated report on the BBC Wales website, you have to go the Internet Forum for the British Society of Dowsers, of all places, to find someone protesting: ˜I distinctly remember going to see this movie in the Commodore cinema in Aberystwyth when it came out, so it's all a bit of a mystery to me. If it was banned here, how come I saw it? (˜Mayor wants Python film ban ended", 19 June 2008, online at: viewtopic.php, accessed 5 September 2009).

Does this suggest that moral panics have become folk devils themselves, images of irrational authoritarianism that can be invoked to liven up not just newspaper reports but also academic debate?
Indeed :|

Here are the details:
JBCTV Journal of British Cinema and Television 1743-4521 1755-1714 Edinburgh University Press

Social Fears and Moral Panics XXIII IAMHIST Conference, University of Aberystwyth 8–11 July 2009 Guy Barefoot

Guy Barefoot is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Leicester, where he is currently working on a history of the Hollywood serial in the 1930s and 1940s.
I was never informed about this report, I just came across it as a Google-cached copy.

Careful what you say on the Internet !

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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by simonwheeler »

Internet Forum for the British Society of Dowsers, of all places
(my emphasis.)

And just what is the implication here...???!!! :evil:
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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

simonwheeler wrote:
Internet Forum for the British Society of Dowsers, of all places
(my emphasis.)

And just what is the implication here...???!!! :evil:
Well quite. People in the know will tell you that if you want the real low-down on anything this is the only forum of choice.

He's from the University of Leicester, of all places. :lol:


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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by ledgehammer »

Hi,

what an interesting post... I only joined the forum in the last year or so... and this has kept me entertained for at least a half hour,

thanks!
:lol:

Tom
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Re: Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Post by Ian Pegler »

Glad you enjoyed it, Tom.

Ceredigion probably did ban it eventually, in the Summer of '82. I was reminded that after I'd completed my 'O' levels I went to Germany with the county youth-orchestra. So it probably happened then, but I can confirm that there was zero publicity because I've looked at every edition of the Cambrian News from 1979 up to the end of 1983.

Whilst we were on the coach on the way back from Germany a rumour began to spread, probably not long after the 'O' and 'A' level results came out, about a ban. Are we to believe in hearsay???

The organisers of the FFAB film-festival were apparently prevented from showing the Life of Brian here as late as 1999, even though it had been shown in Aber 14 times before with Ceredigion's (mixed) blessing.

All very strange

Ian
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