Lost In La Mancha (2002)

At the last minute, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe decided to make another documentary of a Terry Gilliam film—The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (in 1996 they made The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys). They figured that during the shoot of a Terry Gilliam film, anything can and will happen. What they captured on film is considered to be the first documentary of the un-making of a film.

Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was abandoned shortly after it was started. Jean Rochefort, playing Don Quixote had a prostate infection or was it a bad back? He spent seven months learning English for the role and would have been great. He was finished after the first week of shooting, suffering from back pain.

There was the freakish storm with golf ball size hail that literally washed away the entire set. Did I mention that this set was right beside a NATO bombing range?

You get to see Gilliam constantly losing it on the set as the problems mount. Nothing is censored. Johnny Depp, the other lead is often sitting around waiting, while Gilliam and company figure out how to shoot a scene as NATO jets scream by and drop bombs in the background.

If you’re a fan of Terry Gilliam’s films (Brazil, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys) then you won’t want to miss Lost In La Mancha. It’s a fascinating look at the filmmaking process and the chaos that often surrounds Gilliam’s films.

The second disc in the DVD edition of the film is packed with 3 hours of extra features—deleted scenes from the documentary, interviews with Johnny Depp, Terry Gilliam, Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe and a really interesting 55 minute conversation with Salman Rushdie and Terry Gilliam at the Telluride Film Festival.

Gilliam says that he will eventually make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He is trying to buy back the rights to the screenplay and is hoping that his next feature, The Brothers Grimm (2005), is a big hit so that the studios will finance Quixote. Johnny Depp also said that he would continue making the film with Gilliam in a second.

Posted in DVD Reviews at 5:31 PM