A local film fan has secured permission to show the controversial comedy for one night only
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian is to be shown in Bournemouth for the first time next month.
Upon its release, the controversial comedy about an ordinary man mistaken for the Messiah was given an “X” rating – equivalent to an “18” certificate now – by 39 local councils including Bournemouth’s who feared that it could breach blasphemy laws.
Because the film’s distributors had specified that the film could only be shown with a lower “AA” rating – roughly equivalent to a “15” – The Life Of Brian was effectively banned in these 39 areas.
The relevant blasphemy laws were abolished in 2008, but although many local councils have been moved to lift the ban by lowering its rating, the film has still never been screened in Bournemouth. However, following a special request from local film fan Adrian Cox, The Life Of Brian will be shown in the town’s condemned ABC cinema for one night only next month.
Cox has paid £2,000 to hire the cinema on October 15, the day he celebrates his 51st birthday, and has secured permission from both the film’s distributors and the local council to show the film in Bournemouth for the first time.
Cox told The Times that after he contacted local councillors, “They sent an email back saying: ‘In February 1980 we made it an X certificate, but for October 15 you can have it as a 15’.”
Among the film’s many provocative scenes is its infamous finale, in which the title character is shown being crucified to the strains of Eric Idle’s ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. The film’s director Terry Jones said in an interview many years after its release that The Life Of Brian “isn’t blasphemous because it doesn’t touch on belief at all. It is heretical, because it touches on dogma and the interpretation of belief, rather than belief itself.”