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Lost In La Mancha [DVD] 
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Lost in La Mancha is not so much a "making of", more an "unmaking of" documentary which follows director Terry Gilliam through eight weeks of pre-production, six days of filming and finally the aftermath as his long planned feature The Man Who Killed Don Quixote falls apart. Documentarians Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe--the team who produced the excellent feature-length The Hamster Factor about Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys--reveal a tragi-comedy about the director's struggle to bring to life another of his wondrous stories of madness and sanity, fantasy and reality. Unfortunately Gilliam's take on Spanish classic Don Quixote is mirrored all too closely by reality, as everything goes wrong, from noise-ridden locations to flash-flooding to a seriously ill star, Jean Rochefort. Gilliam goes from boyish enthusiasm to bad tempered frustration to near despair, the victim of circumstances beyond his control which turn a cherished dream into a farcical nightmare. Meanwhile, we get glimpses of what could have been and are left hoping that someday, somehow, Gilliam will realise his remarkable vision. --Gary S DalkinSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a producer/director this is film school at it's very best! If you are thinking about making movies, this is a must see for a first time film maker or a seasoned pro. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sparky Films
Wonderful insight into the highs, lows, heartaches and downright inefficiency of film making. Every person thinking of making a feature film (particularly with stars and crew from... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Miss S. Weaver
when i saw "LOST IN LA MANCHA" i felt mixed emotions:amazed, very gratefull and very lucky on one hand for having this documentary available on DVD; very sad and frustrated... Read morePublished 15 months ago by ana isabel rodrigues
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. Read morePublished on 25 Oct. 2013 by JHvW
Rubbish hated it wasnt aware it was. documentry so was really boring all the way through ok if you like them but i dontPublished on 30 Sept. 2013 by sarah
This is a fabulous insight into making film and a suspenseful story in its own right. A very absorbing view.Published on 9 Aug. 2013 by Ms. Robyn Moore
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... Read morePublished on 15 Dec. 2012 by D'Archangel