Movie distributors are planning to re-release Monty Python classic LIFE OF BRIAN as a light-hearted alternative to Mel Gibson's harrowing epic The Passion OF THE CHRIST .

To mark the 25th anniversary of the biblical satire, the film will be shown in cinemas in Los Angeles, New York and other US cities.

Distributor RAINBOW says it hopes the film will "serve as an antidote to all the hysteria about Mel's movie", which has caused outrage for it's graphically violent portrayal of the last 12 hours of JESUS' life and has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism.

Adverts are cheekily advertising Life Of Brian with the tag lines "Mel or Monty" and "The Passion of the Python?"

The movie follows a Jewish character from Nazareth who is worshipped as the Messiah than crucified by Romans. The Monty Python team always maintained the film was a spoof on Bible films and intolerance rather than Christianity.

It was only completed when former BEATLE GEORGE HARRISON stepped in to finance it after EMI FILMS ceased funding the project, fearing it would spark controversy.

Rainbow president HENRY JAGLOM says, "We decided this is an important time to re-release this film, to provide some counter-programming to The Passion."

24/03/2004 17:37