Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, and the group in 'The Lumberjack Song'

The Essential ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ on Netflix

And now for something completely different. In 1969, five overeducated British comics and an American illustrator ambushed the BBC with the strangest show in British history. How they got on the air is anyone’s guess (rumors of blackmail were quickly hushed, though the Python’s penchant for sheep gags… but enough of speculation), but their irreverent […]

Christopher Plummer hosts 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' a film by Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ on Netflix

With The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Terry Gilliam, the mad imagineer of such wickedly funny and wildly creative visions as Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Twelve Monkeys (okay, that last one isn’t quite so funny), dives back into his diabolical imagination for this carny sideshow of a Faust tale in the […]

Alain Demon in Jean-Pierre Melville's French crime classic

Criterion Blu-ray: Alexander Payne’s savagely funny ‘Election,’ plus ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,’ ‘Le Samouraï,’ and ‘Jabberwocky’

Election (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) A wicked satire of power and (social) politics set in the overheated incubator of a high school student body election, Election (1999) is as sharp and perceptive now as it was in 1999. The confident second feature from director Alexander Payne and his screenwriting partner, Jim Taylor (coming off the critical […]