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English comedy: The Meaning of Life

Introduction by Elena Gualtieri

Directed by Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam, 1983, 107 min. 
Why are we here, what's it all about? The Monty Python-team is trying to sort out the most important question on Earth: what is the meaning of life? They do so by exploring the various stages of life, starting with birth.

A doctor seems more interested in his equipment than in delivering the baby or caring for the mother, a Roman Catholic couple have quite a lot of children because 'every sperm is sacred'. In the growing and learning part of life, catholic schoolboys attend a rather strange church service and ditto sex education lesson. Onto war, where an officer's plan to attack is thwarted by his underlings wanting to celebrate his birthday and an officer's leg is bitten off by presumably an African tiger. At middle age a couple orders 'philosophy' at a restaurant, after which the film continues with live organ transplants. The autumn years are played in a restaurant...

Elena Gualtieri is a Professor of Modern English Literature and Culture by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen.

Links:
IMDb: The Meaning of Life
Trailer on YouTube: The Meaning of Life

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