Graham Chapman is known as the forgotten Monty Python. His life after Monty Python rarely took him in the public eye. But according to A Liar’s Autobiography, he is the very embodiment of Monty Python. His sensibility infused the group via his sense of humor.
A Liar’s Autobiography is directed by three men who love Monty Python. Bill Jones and Ben Timlett directed and produced the 2010 BBC documentary series Monty Python: Almost the Truth – The Lawyers Cut.
A Liar’s Autobiography is based on Chapman’s 1980 memoir of the same title, which is co-written by Douglas Addams, Alex Martin and David Yalop. It takes the narrative from the written work with Chapman himself doing a running narration via a recorded cover-to-cover reading of his memoir in 1986. It is Chapman’s story told by his own words.
This makes A Liar’s Autobiography a must see for hardcore fans of the Monty Python. The movie also features most of the original members, except Eric Idle. They supply their voices as they play multiple characters in the movie. It also includes classic Python movies and sketches as well as interview excerpts and other footage.
A Liar’s Autobiography shows the self-deprecating candor and bittersweet whimsy as Chapman’s memoir features his private joys, problems, foibles, and demons. It is a linear depiction of his life with occasional scenes of Chapman’s fantasies. It shows him as a bookworm child to a student at Cambridge University to a doctor of medicine to one of the key figures in Monty Python.
It shows some of the earliest recorded sketch comedy Chapman made with fellow Cambridge alumnus John Cleese. It is clear that they have it right from the start. Every time one of them opens his mouth, you can see seeds of Pythonism emanating from them.
A Liar’s Autobiography is a must watch for Monty Python fans. It is a fascinating experiment in film narrative that allows the seamless combination of fact and fiction. It is strange and erratic and all over the place, which is a fitting way to show the life of a comedic genius like Graham Chapman.