March 11, 2015 / 3:27 PM / 4 years ago

Tribeca Film Festival marks 40th anniversary of Monty Python film

The surviving members of the original cast of the Monty Python comedy team (L-R) Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese, pose for photographers at a photocall in central London in this November 21, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new documentary about Monty Python will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and members of the British comedy troupe will attend a special screening of the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” to mark its 40th anniversary.

The feature-length documentary, “Monty Python - The Meaning of Live,” will debut on April 25. Organizers of the festival said on Wednesday the film offers a behind-the-scenes look at the group’s 2014 reunion show at London’s 02 Arena and insights into their comedic genius.

The five surviving Pythons, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, will be on hand for the special screening of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” on April 24 at The Beacon Theatre in New York. Graham Chapman, an original member of the group, died of cancer in 1989 at the age of 48.

“The film is so brilliant and the Python’s influence on contemporary comedy in cinema and television is so enduring that it feels as fresh today as it did decades ago,” said Paula Weinstein, the executive president of Tribeca Enterprises.

The comedy group, who poked fun at religion and the establishment, performed on the BBC TV sketch comedy program “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” from 1969 to 1974 before branching out into movies with their subversive comedy.

Two of their other films, “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” and “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” will also be shown at the festival that runs from April 15-26.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2001 by actor Robert De Niro, film producer Jane Rosenthal and investor Craig Hatkoff to revitalize the downtown New York neighborhood following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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