3 items from 2010
Considering the bad luck and despair that have afflicted would-be adapters of Don Quixote over the years -- from Orson Welles to Terry Gilliam -- I kind of love the idea that Joel Silver is developing a version as a tentpole action picture for Warner Bros. How can you resist the scope of what will go wrong on that set? I mean, can you throw money at a curse? Will Silver's default leading man Robert Downey Jr. really look passable as a deluded Spanish retiree? Anyway, this is happening. [Pajiba] »
For art and entertainment, 'making of' films can rival the movies they document, says Mark Kermode
Every now and then, a documentary about the making of a film rivals its subject for both art and entertainment. Take Les Blank's extraordinary Burden of Dreams which, arguably, documents obsession and the search for "ecstatic truth" as effectively as Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. "I live by this movie, I die by this movie!" declares Herzog with a conviction which would shame Klaus Kinski's titular madman and which Blank backs up with breathtakingly confrontational on-set footage.
Or what about Hearts of Darkness, in which Martin Sheen suffers a heart attack and Francis Ford Coppola mutates into a modern-day Colonel Kurtz while filming Apocalypse Now? "My movie is not about Vietnam, my movie is Vietnam!" says Coppola with Brandoesque bravado, before admitting: "We had too much equipment, too much money and little by little we went insane. »
- Mark Kermode
I have written many times over the years about how the career of Terry Gilliam resembles the career of Orson Welles, including in my review for Gilliam's Tideland. Of course, the types of films they made are different -- Welles was more focused on the qualities of age and experience, while Gilliam is more interested in juvenilia and fantasy -- but there are certain stylistic similarities, as well as biographical ones. Both men attempted and failed to make a Don Quixote, both men's films have suffered from poor distribution and advertising, as well as various forms of studio meddling, and both men saw the death of a leading actor during a production.
Filed under: Columns, 400 Screens, 400 Blows
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- Jeffrey M. Anderson
3 items from 2010
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