Today is the 40th anniversary of Monty Python’s iconic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and—in a bit of spirited high jinx—a Swedish company decided to pay tribute to the British comedy group with a modern interpretation of their classic Lumberjack Song.
Based out of the fifth largest city Västerås, Film Kollektivet’s short film features a heavy-set and hipster-inspired lumberjack strolling through Sweden’s pristine woodland, reciting the song’s purposefully feminine lyrics in a gruff, tough and gravelly voice as he goes about his working day.
The footage of the forest itself is beautiful, and gives a true glimpse into the quiet serenity and peacefulness of Sweden’s forests, which cover a staggering 27 million hectares; approximately 66% of the entire country’s land mass.
The forestry business is of decisive importance for the Swedish national economy, more important than in any other EU country, apart from Finland. About 91,000 people are employed in the forest sector—some 2% of the country’s 4.5 million working employees. Although that number could be twice as high if indirectly employed professions (such as business owners in sparsely populated areas where lumbering is the dominant economic activity) are counted.
As for the lumberjack himself, his Instagram handle is hipsterkungen. Given that the original song satirically poked at viewers’ unwarranted judgement of a man who didn’t necessarily conform to societal norms of ‘manliness’—the choice of using a self-identified hipster character is a telling nod to the ongoing complexities of what masculinity means in the modern day.
If you liked the short film and want to see more of the country’s majestic woodlands, perhaps consider taking the advice of The Python themselves and: ‘Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yer? See the løveli lakes. And mäni interesting furry animals…’
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is being shown in UK cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday 14th October 2015. The screenings will be accompanied by a specially filmed, exclusive introduction from The Pythons.