Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones who died last month was also a scholar of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, having penned two books about the great English poet. Before Jones's death, he was collaborating with an international team of Chaucer geeks on a Canterbury Tales app called "General Prologue." It is the first in a series.
“We want the public, not just academics, to see the manuscript as Chaucer would have likely thought of it—as a performance that mixed drama and humor,” said University of Saskatchewan English professor and project leader Peter Robinson.
“We were so pleased that Terry was able to see and hear this app in the last weeks of his life. His work and his passion for Chaucer was an inspiration to us,” Robinson said. “We talked a lot about Chaucer and it was his idea that the Tales would be turned into a performance.”
From the University of Saskatchewan:
Read the rest
The app features a 45-minute audio performance of the General Prologue of the Tales—the masterpiece work by the most important English writer before Shakespeare—along with the digitized original manuscript. While listening to the reading, users have access to supporting content such as a translation in modern English, commentary, notes and vocabulary explaining Middle English words used by Chaucer.
The app, an offshoot of Robinson’s 25-year work to digitize the Canterbury Tales, contains key new research work. This includes a new edited text of the Prologue created by USask sessional lecturer Barbara Bordalejo, a new reading of the Tales by former USask student Colin Gibbings, and new findings about the Tales by UCL (University College London) medievalist professor Richard North.
In memory of Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones, who died this week, please enjoy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail in LEGO." Read the rest
Last week, I sent an SMS to our babysitter that said, "Hey, are you free to sit on," and rather than offering autocomplete suggestions like "Saturday" or "Friday," the default Android keyboard suggested "on my face and."
Read the rest
The forthcoming big screen epic King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has nothing on the Pythons. (Cinefix)
Read the rest
Gene Wilder's death reminded me of the lovely 2008 interview Wilder did for the Legends series about Marty Feldman. Most Americans associate Feldman with his film roles, but he had a long career in UK radio and later in television before moving on to Hollywood. Read the rest
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
Terry Gilliam’s memoir is as unique as the man himself. Known for his work with Monty Python and as a director of films like Brazil, Time Bandits, and Twelve Monkeys, Gilliam’s work has always had a surreal quality that makes it instantly recognizable. His “Pre-posthumous Memoir” happily possesses a similar quality.
Most authors would write a memoir that is a prose account of their life, and maybe they would include a couple pictures of the highlights for added effect. Gilliam, originally a cartoonist and animator, naturally flips this idea on its head and sticks pictures all over the book, drawing attention to them with handwritten notes. Sometimes the pictures are a direct reference to the text, sometimes they are tangentially related to the text, and occasionally they have no apparent connection to anything outside of Gilliam’s head.
What we get reads less like a book and more like a collage of many art pieces. The actual text of the memoir ends up being just one piece of many that ties the others together. You could probably only read the handwritten notes and pictures and still get a good sense of Gilliam’s life and personality. The pictures scattered throughout the book are a collection of old family photos, sketches, illustrations, magazine ads, set photos, and more. Gilliam’s early years in advertising and comedy magazines include some of the most surprising work, with hints of what the artist Gilliam would later become. Read the rest
Mick Jagger takes the piss out of Monty Python, and himself, in this promo for the comedy troupe's imminent reunion gigs: Read the rest
Graham Chapman was kind enough to record his somewhat truthful autobiography, A Liar's Autobiography, before he died in 1989. But since he did die, the rest of Monty Python got the chance to turn the recording into a psuedo-documentary and hire 14 different animators to animate it without having to ask permission. A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman will premiere on Friday, November 2 on EPIX and in select movie theaters in the U.S. -- in 3D, no less! You can watch a new trailer at The A.V. Club and an older one on YouTube. (via The A.V. Club) Read the rest