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 »
This is one of the saddest, most painful films I've ever seen.
I thought I had it bad on the set of my little student film in college.
Watching this documentary was very difficult and very interesting at the same time. I enjoyed it, despite the tragedy that played out on the screen.
What makes the film so heartbreaking is that you know that the film will inevitably fail. So the entire movie-watching experience is steeped in dramatic irony. We, the viewers, know the outcome of this ill-fated film project known as "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote." But the filmmakers themselves, at the time of the filming, obviously do not know that all their actions are essentially in vain.
A great film, and a powerful warning to those who thinking making movies is easy.
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