Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: Lost in La Mancha (2000),

Lost in La Mancha is a documentary of the unmaking of the Terry Gilliam's movie "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". It is also a documentarty about the worst things that can happen to film producers. This submission is based on Roger Ebert's, Stephanie Zacharek's and Emily Blunt's reviews.


It was hardly believable that one of the largest budget by European standards movie idea could fall apart so easily. Bad weather and Jean Rochefort's (actor of Don Quixote) health problems managed to kill this project without leaving anything behind. Amazing preparations were done but straight from the begining it was easy to feel that something is about to go wrong. Roger Ebert gives more egzamples of possible accidents: "in the Ukraine, I waited for days with 20,000 extras, all members of the Red Army, who were dressed as Napoleon's Old Guard--and who could not be filmed without a lens that was being held up in customs." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun times February 14, 2003). This whole situation reminds Michael Cimino's disaster in the movie "The Heaven's gate". Cimino straight from the beginning was too much egocentric about every single detail in the movie. He ordered to tear dow most of the set from the first shots just because: "It didn't looked right". Taking care of every single detail ofcourse is not that bad thing, but sometimes it is just too much. Questioning if it was too much or not Stephanie Zacharek defends Gilliam by saying that: "Gilliam may be frustratingly unrealistic at times — but then, isn’t that exactly what the movies need these days?" (Stephanie Zacharek, Friday, entertainment salon, January 31, 2003). Gilliam in this documentary is the Don Quixote himself. He had all of those visions that could not get real. His struggles were explained very clearly: "For those who do know the Quixote tale, you'll have an extra treat as you spot the touching similarities between Gilliam and Quixote" (Emily Blunt, Blunt Reviews, date of publishing is unknown).


All in all this documentary is pretty much a lesson for other directors that everytime when you try to bring increadible ideas to reality the most unexpected things may happen and no matter how hard you try it will not work out.Terry Gilliam done his best and he had this clear vision, but things happened in the way that nobody really wanted to happen.


Figure1: Terry Gilliam and Jean Rochefort

Figure2: Finished scene shot from the movie


Roger Ebert's review:

Stephanie Zacharek's review:

Emily Blunt's review:

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