And Now For Something Completely Sundae Monday
Things will be changing around here. I'm not sure if the change is for the better or worse, but it's a-coming. I am going to England on Saturday, not to return until June. So at least for a little bit things will be slowing down as I go over and make myself comfortable. In honor of this, and a conveniently timed screening of And Now For Something Completely Different this past weekend, I present a comparison. One clip is from Monty Python's Flying Circus and the other is from And Now For Something Completely Different. I shouldn't have to tell you which is TV and which is film.
The most noticeable difference here, outside of the acting, is the camera movement. The TV version, done in one shot, never moves until the punchline is delivered. The film version features a constantly moving camera. The camera slowly moves from right to left while panning the other way to keep the characters in frame. We feel like we are going in circles, an accurate representation of the conversation we watch. The TV version, on the other hand, only moves to emphasize the punchline. This movement is justified as the punchline is the only reason the scene exists. Unlike the Dirty Fork sketch (see below), the scene could not exist without the punchline, and so it feels right that it is emphasized.
The acting is more refined in the film version, which works to the benefit of Terry Jones, but not Eric Idle. Idle's work in the TV version places more emphasis on his vocal intonations, while the film version is much more physical. I prefer Idle's voice work in the TV sketch, but it's more of a personal preference. Jones' reactions in the film version are muted, letting Idle own the scene. In the TV version, Jones is more clearly agitated at points, taking away from the punchline. The more subtle reactions of the film version build up to the ending while also allowing Idle to dominate the scene completely.