Lost in La Mancha (2003)
Poor Terry Gilliam. One of the best visual directors today hardly ever gets a break. If there was justice in the world (a rhetorical question) Gilliam would be directing a Harry Potter movie. Just imagine the greatness of something like that. But Gilliam is seen as an eccentric who doesnt keep good track of his budget, as evidenced by the inflating costs of his Baron Munchausen effort. As a result of making classy yet quirky pictures his way Gilliam has become a director that works on the fringe. His last effort was a delirious retelling of the Don Quixote tale. When it came time to film The Man Who Killed don Quixote it seems everyone, even God, was against Gilliam realizing his dream.
Lost in La Mancha is a fascinating and equally heart breaking documentary following the making of and, more so, the breaking of Gilliams movie. For starters the location for a pivotal scene in the desert is located near a Spanish air force base and fighter jets roar overhead. Then theres a flash food that destroys equipment and a set. Then theres the star of the picture that may or may not have cancer but sure cant ride a horse. Its enough to pull your hair out. Lost in La Mancha is like the cinematic version of the highly entertaining, and addictive, HBO series Project Greenlight: witness movie making first hand and witness one catastrophe after another! The two directors of Lost in La Mancha are the same people that created the nearly 90 minute documentary on the trials and tribulations of making 12 Monkeys (and this documentary is by far the best special feature on any DVD ever released). The two have a certain fondness for Gilliam but push the Gilliam-as-Quixote image way too much.
The really sad part about this documentary is that the glimpses it does show of the film (when it is working and not going into devastation) prove it could have been a wonderful and whimsical fantasy. Heck, he even got Johnny Depp to be in it! Gilliam will move on as will everyone else involved in this aborted film but there will now be a lasting mark. Whether it serves as an open sore or a Band-Aid is a different matter.
Nate’s Grade: B+
Posted on March 10, 2003, in 2003 Movies and tagged comedy, documentary, fantasy, johnny depp, movies, terry gilliam. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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