Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Now that Pope Mel has had his say, let’s hear the one about Brian again. That’s Brian Cohen, a Nazareth 30-something who as a baby was mistaken for the (or a) messiah by three wayward wise men. He’s the protagonist of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, an irreligious romp that takes much of its humor from transpiring at the exact same moment—but usually out of earshot—of another story that could be called the passion of the Christ. The troupe’s second film, originally released in 1979, is a characteristically scattershot affair; highlights include the queue for crucifixions, handled with impeccable Roman efficiency (“Out of the door. Line on the left. One cross each. Next”) and the final singalong of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” The essential joke is the Pythons’ hopeless misremembrance of Christianity’s founding myth, a befuddlement that—in this time of fearful certainty—seems positively humane. The film screens at 12:30, 3, 5:20, 7:35, and 9:50 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW. $6.75–$9.25. (202) 452-7672. (Mark Jenkins)