Sunday, June 01, 2014

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

A revealing and often painful documentary look at the making of Terry Gilliam's ill-fated Don Quixote adaptation. We see a production out of control, beset by compromises and problems at every turn, everything from slashed budgets to bad weather to problems with the production insurance (resulting from the lead actor taking ill, and a flash flood that washes away some of the film gear).

At one point, Gilliam says something to the effect that he's made the film so many times in his head that he wonders if it isn't best that it just stays there. One can feel his pain over the struggle to bring his version of Cervantes' classic story to the screen, constantly beset by the persistent realities of making a movie.

It's a sobering look at just how much can go wrong in the making of a movie, made worse by the often chaotic nature of the production. Gilliam seems to be driven by his vision for the film at the expense of the practical concerns, and it's clear, as things spiral further and further out of control, that the project has lost its sense of fun for him.

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