Dr. Graham Chapman is probably best known for being a member of the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python's Flying Circus. Tragically dying at the age of 48 in 1989 from throat cancer, the pipe smoking medical doctor, comic actor, and writer, Chapman lived a strange, almost dual, life, at once off-the-wall and both shy and serious — an enigma even to his Python mates. His life was a contradictory as his chosen profession; he lived fairly openly (especially for the time) as a gay man, but kept his drinking problem secreted away in the closet.
Chapman documented his life in the 1981 book A Liar's Autobiography. Virgil Films has now released a DVD based upon the book, A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman. The animated film presents Chapman telling his life story essentially from beyond the grave. Using his voice culled from audio recordings of his book, along with the added voices of his Python comrades, A Liar's Autobiography is a multi-media filmic collage of a story; it is, I suppose, something "completely different." It's not a Monty Python movie per se, nor anything like any of the series episodes, but the influences of both are there, of course.
The "cinematic memoir," as the producers call it, documents Chapman's life from his boyhood days, Cambridge education (and qualifying as a doctor, something he eventually knew he would never actually practice), his introduction to the legendary Cambridge Footlights and writing partner John Cleese (What is it about Footlights that creates such remarkable creative teams? Fry and Laurie fans, take note). The film also follows Chapman during his crazier years, alcoholism, and his eventual emergence from the closet as a homosexual; something that shocked even his closest associates.