New Monty Python biopic offers ‘untrue story’ of Chapman’s life

If the title isn’t enough of a dead giveaway, the makers of A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman want viewers to know that what they see in the biopic may not necessarily reflect reality.

TORONTO — If the title isn’t enough of a dead giveaway, the makers of A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman want viewers to know that what they see in the biopic may not necessarily reflect reality.

The story is based on Chapman’s loose-with-the-facts 1980 autobiography, which was penned with four other authors — including Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame — and stretched the definition of what could legitimately be called a memoir. It traces his life from his childhood to his success with Monty Python and includes tales about his homosexuality and alcoholism.

Chapman, who played the lead in the films Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python’s Life of Brian, made an audio tape of the book before he died in 1989. That recording is featured in A Liar’s Autobiography, along with voiceovers from fellow troupe members Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam.

Jones found the 3-D animated film, which opens Friday in Toronto, thoroughly entertaining but not particularly illuminating.

But it’s no fault of the film, he added, and is just a reflection of the sly ambiguousness Chapman was notorious for embracing, including in his book.

“I think Graham was a bit of a mystery to anybody who knew him or worked with him, I don’t think we ever felt like we knew him,” Jones said during an interview at September’s Toronto International Film Festival.

“(The film) captures his oddness and looniness and a little bit of the mystery, actually. He was kind of an enigmatic character and . . . I think you’d say he was acting all the time.

“You don’t learn about him, I think it’s all a pose.”

Jones’s son Jeff, who directed the film with Jeff Simpson and Ben Timlett, had originally set out to create a TV documentary about Chapman. But after learning about the previously unused audio tapes, he instead began seeking out animators to bring Chapman’s words and stories to life.

Just Posted

Case of former MLA facing sex-related charges in court

Former Sylvan Lake-Innisfail MLA Don MacIntyre’s case returns to court on May 3

Central Alberta pharmacists decry fee reductions for services

Government funding cuts to Alberta pharmacies will hurt patient care, said about… Continue reading

Horses left in trailer found in the ditch near Bentley returned to owners, no charges laid

Two horses found in an abandoned trailer near Bentley have been returned… Continue reading

RCMP close intersection where Humboldt Broncos bus, transport truck collided

REGINA — Police have closed the intersection where the team bus for… Continue reading

Supreme Court upholds law in cross-border beer case, averting trade shakeup

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed the constitutionality of… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s newest public art unveiled

Red Deer’s latest “ghost” sculpture is a love letter to the game… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Northbound QEII traffic to return to northbound lanes as contruction continues south of Red Deer

Though the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange still has months until completion, some… Continue reading

Howard commencement to feature “Black Panther” Boseman

WASHINGTON — The “Black Panther” is returning to his alma mater to… Continue reading

Armed police will patrol rail stations at royal wedding

LONDON — British officials say armed and undercover police officers will patrol… Continue reading

Power largely restored across Puerto Rico after blackout

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s power company said Thursday that… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month