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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shattered dreams...
A documentary about the making of a film that never got past the shooting of a couple of scenes doesn't seem to promise much, but the story of what was to turn out to be a real-life "disaster movie" is riveting stuff.

Terry Gilliam's obsession with "Don Quixote" is infectious and his enthusiasm for the task he faces coupled with glimpses of what it could have...
Published on 7 Mar 2006 by nicjaytee

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars boring
Rubbish hated it wasnt aware it was. documentry so was really boring all the way through ok if you like them but i dont
Published 10 months ago by sarah


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shattered dreams..., 7 Mar 2006
This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A documentary about the making of a film that never got past the shooting of a couple of scenes doesn't seem to promise much, but the story of what was to turn out to be a real-life "disaster movie" is riveting stuff.

Terry Gilliam's obsession with "Don Quixote" is infectious and his enthusiasm for the task he faces coupled with glimpses of what it could have been really make you wish that things had turned out better. The insights into how a film is planned and the hugely complex logistics of a "live shoot" are fascinating, while the build-up to the almost inevitable collapse of the project, compounded by unbelievably bad weather and the illness of the central actor, coupled with the impacts of it all on those involved, is about as far removed from the typical self-congratulatory "making of the movie" add-on as you can get. Finally, the whole sorry affair - in particular Gilliam's persistent & unbridled optimism in the face of virtually insurmountable odds as he pursues the chance to realise a long-standing dream - becomes a quite bizarre, tragi-comic parallel to "Don Quixote" itself.

You may only watch this once, and renting is therefore probably the best option, but you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The curse of La Mancha, 24 Feb 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
In October of 2000, Terry Gilliam finally began production on his dream project, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote."

Not only was it never finished, but it barely got into production before the whole thing crashed and burned, to the point where you seriously wonder if someone put a curse on Gilliam's production. The whole high-budget madhouse is chronicled in "Lost in La Mancha," a fascinating documentary that follows the whole trainwreck from beginning to end.

For several years, Terry Gilliam had been seeking funding for his time-traveling, satirical movie about Don Quixote and a young ad executive from the 21st century. But because of his unique style (which doesn't really lend itself to blockbusters) and his previous flop "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," investors weren't exactly lining up. But Gilliam did manage to get the funding, as well as his dream cast of Jean Rochefort as Don Quixote and a pre-pirate Johnny Depp as the ad executive.

But... then things started going dramatically awry. It turned out that NATO had an airbase right near the set, meaning that the shoot was constantly interrupted by LOUD PLANE NOISE. Miscommunications on set. A flash flood that ruined a whole day of shooting. And while both Rochefort and Depp were troupers, the former ended up suffering debilitating health issues that left him unable to work.

Sadly the movie never got past the first week of production, so unlike other troubled productions by Gilliam ("The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," anyone?) we never received an actual movie. It's a shame, since the brief moments of footage that viewers see are excellent and rather amusing -- where else do you see Johnny Depp swearing and fighting a fish?

But at least the trainwreck was somewhat salvaged by "Lost in La Mancha." There's almost a comedic quality to all the disasters that befell this production, and the surreality of it all is heightened by Gilliam's own direction. The giants, the Monty Pythonesque cartoons, the army of puppets -- it gives an extra layer of weirdness to a production that seemed... over-the-top. Gilliam himself couldn't have come up with a more bizarre comedy of errors if he had tried.

It's also a fascinating study for anyone who wants to know more about filmmaking. Terry Gilliam is a visionary and artist, but he also has to juggle a thousand unromantic tasks and jobs to actually get his movies made. For just a few minutes of usable footage, we see a few HOURS of all the nitty-gritty work that went into it. And it brings home how fragile some of these movies are, where a single problem (Rochefort's health) can topple everything.

As a final note: Terry Gilliam laughs like Tigger, and his repeated giggles will probably leave viewers wondering when he's going to announce that his top is made out of rubber and his bottom is made out of springs.

We may never get a Gilliam movie about Don Quixote, but at least we got a decent documentary out of his stillborn film. "Lost in La Mancha" is funny, sad and sometimes just strange, just like a Gilliam movie.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The windmill wins one, 19 May 2004
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
For a film maker, as with any other working bloke, it sometimes just doesn't pay to get out of bed in the morning.
LOST IN LA MANCHA is a cautionary tale about the making of a feature film, or rather the un-making of it.
For years, Director Terry Gilliam dreamed of making a screen adaptation of the Don Quixote story - you know, that old and senile Spanish knight who tilts at windmills. In 2000, with a budget of $32 million, Terry set about to do just that. His film, entitled "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote", stars Jean Rochefort as Quixote and Johnny Depp as Sancho Panza.
After several months of pre-production, Rochefort and Depp arrive on location, and shooting begins in the Spanish desert. During the first week, the crew copes with continual overflights of screeching F-16 jets, a thunderstorm that generates a flash flood that destroys equipment, and an injury to the 70-year old Rochefort that'll apparently keep him off his faithful steed unless cured. (Don Quixote on foot? Hmm, doesn't call-up quite the same image, does it?)
In the second week of shooting, a visit by the investors is followed by one from the insurance adjuster, who begins to mumble about "acts of God" precluding payment. Meanwhile, Rochefort is back in Paris to see his physician, and things don't look promising for a timely return. Then, the First Assistant Director, Phil Patterson, delivers the final blow.
Viewing LOST IN LA MANCHA, there's a certain terrible fascination watching the director's dream crumble before his (and your) eyes because of appallingly bad luck. One can't help but feel sorry for the poor devil. The film will, perhaps, only appeal to one that loves the movies and appreciates, at least to a minor degree, the organization, preparation, and coordination necessary to mount and complete a major production.
A postscript in the end credits informs the audience that Gilliam has since re-acquired the rights to "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote", which defaulted to the insurance company, and plans to give it another go. If it's ever released, I'll pay to see it just out of sympathy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 9 Aug 2013
By 
Ms. Robyn Moore (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This is a fabulous insight into making film and a suspenseful story in its own right. A very absorbing view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Epic than Ben Hur!, 15 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
If you're looking for a film about Don Quixote, this is not the one for you. If however, you're looking for a film that documents the trials of a team trying to overcome what sometimes seem like insurmountable odds to bring a dream to the screen, then there is no better than this.

I'd like to say it was a joy to watch but in truth joy only got a small part of the screen time, alongside, pain, illness, natural disaster and palpable frustration, to name but a few of the diverse elements. This is much more real than any of the docu-soaps with which we're being constantly bombarded.

If you have no idea what it takes to bring a film from book to screen, than this is well worth watching and I for one (and I'm sure there are many others) look forward to the day Terry Gilliam realises his vision and we can all watch the film, not just the documetary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Globallyn, 24 Aug 2011
This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Lost in Lamanche is not exactly a film as such, more a compilation of all the things that can go wrong, going wrong, What can I say. You have to see it to believe it. Great stuff. Well worth watching.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrible waste!, 19 July 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
My friend and I watched this DVD when it arrived, eagre to see the film-making process of Terry Gilliam, of whom we are both fans.
It didn't bode well from early on in pre-production, but Gilliam's enthusiasm and faith in his project was infectious and people involved in the film all did their best to try and make it work. However, it does seem as though the project was jinxed from the start, even though, if the film DOES get made, I am sure it will be fabulous, as the scenes they DID manage to shoot looked great, especially the "Giants"!
We both really hope that Terry Gilliam has another shot at this as we are sure it will be marvellous if he finally succeeds. There was also a very good point made in the film that Terry has been penalised for Baron Munchausen in Hollywood and there is little commercial faith in him there after that movie, which seems very unfair considering that Twelve Monkeys was successful as was The Fisher King. Give the man the money to make what will be a marvellous film!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absurd, 25 Oct 2013
By 
JHvW "JHvW" (Pays Bas, Europe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A weird and absurd film. I do not think I understood it. I have been informed that it was every difficult to get the film made at all. It was probably a box-office flop but the critics like it. Nowadays you usually get a "Making of" bonus with a DVD. This film has been described as the un-making of the originally intended film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars boring, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Rubbish hated it wasnt aware it was. documentry so was really boring all the way through ok if you like them but i dont
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fly on the wall, 12 April 2010
This review is from: Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Interesting look at the day to day experience of a major production going to hell
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Lost In La Mancha [DVD] [2002]
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