Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
Director Terry Gilliam is the latest filmmaker to try and bring Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra's "Don Quixote de la Mancha" to the big screen, the movie to be called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Before filming even begins, Gilliam, who has moved from Hollywood studio to European financing, will have to scale back his vision as his budget has been slashed from $40 million to $32 million, still astronomical by European standards. But Gilliam is a dreamer, much like his title character, and his vision for the movie is uncompromising, meaning with the reduced budget that there is no margin for error and that some of his department heads may have to achieve miracles with their allotted moneys. During pre-production and actual filming, what Gilliam does not foresee is contractual and health issues with his actors, and the effects of Mother Nature. The question is does Gilliam have a Plan B if/when things go wrong. Written by
Fulton and Pepe embarked on their second feature about director Terry Gilliam intending to make a television documentary about the development and pre-production of Gilliam's long-awaited passion project. Having intimate knowledge of Gilliam's chaotic working methods, they knew they were in for something dramatic. But they had no idea that the story would develop into its own quixotic tragedy. After the failure of Gilliam's production, Fulton and Pepe were wary of finishing their film. Gilliam assured them that "someone has to get a film out of this. I guess it's going to be you." See more »
At the end of the credits we see the footage of the giants running menacingly towards the screen (which Gilliam admitted would make a great trailer). Just before it fades to black, the words "COMING SOON" are emblazoned across the screen. At the fadeout, we hear Gilliam's distinctive laugh. See more »
"The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" has the makings of a brilliant film. It's a twisted take on Cervantes from the mind of director Terry Gilliam, starring Jean Rochefort, Johnny Depp, and Vanessa Paradis. The only problem is that the film has not been made. It REFUSES to be made.
Filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe initially set out to chronicle Gilliam as he made his quixotic dream come true. Instead they captured the floods, bombings, and various "acts of God" that shut the movie down. The result is "Lost in La Mancha", a documentary about a courageous but capsizing production. It works because by presenting Gilliam's story, Fulton and Pepe also illustrate the joy and pain that all filmmakers experience to some degree. We often witness Gilliam's frustration, but we also see his delight when his vision briefly comes to life.
One is left with a new appreciation for the daring movies that do make it through production, as well as some hope for the completion of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". Gilliam is depicted as a dreamer, not a failure. "Lost in La Mancha" is an enjoyable celebration of those who tilt at windmills.
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