REVIEWED
3/30/03

STORY



LOOK

Lost In La Mancha
Director: Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe
Year: 2002
TRT: 1:33


This film, for those who are unawares, is a documentary on the making of Terry Gilliam's movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. While being a great look at what goes into making a film, ultimately, this is a tragedy. Everything that could go wrong in trying to make the movie pretty much happens, thus the reason why you won't see the actual film in the theaters, at least not for a long time to come. You catch a couple seconds glimpse of what the original film could have been, and leave this tale feeling sad it just wasn't meant to be.

The first part of the movie gives a brief history of the films Gilliam has done in the past, and the amount of time and effort he had put into Quixote before shooting a single frame of the film. It establishes the history of previous endeavors to bring Cervante's delusional knight to the screen, and, combined with the similar nature Gilliam's Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, it tends to be a constant uphill battle that has many people concerned from the get-go. You wonder if there is weird kind of hypochondria at work here, as misgivings tend to build in a snowball effect. The Munchuasen reference is joked about and dismissed at first. By the end, Gilliam could only hope that it went that well. He refers to it as "Quixote's Curse," which, considering how things play out, is quite aptly named, indeed. After only shooting for less than a week, things crumble away til the production disintegrates completely.

I'm not the biggest fan of documentaries, but this is a combination of several things I truly enjoy. It is very well done by Fulton & Pepe, the same people that made The Hamster Factor on the making of Gilliam's 1995 film Twelve Monkeys. This focuses not just on Gilliam, but some of the main people around him as to their thoughts and opinions as the production progresses. The initial history of the film uses some great animation (including a quick one that is very Ralph Stedman-esque), and by the end you just can't help but feel sorry for Gilliam and the crew as they finally come to accept the reality that the film can no longer continue.

DVD Notes: None, I saw this one in the theater. I advise renting it when it comes out. Drunken movie reviews aren't quite as enjoyable when you can't pause the movie to go piss.