You can't get much more minimalist than this. Two characters- Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (remarkably fat, as all they seem have to to eat are a few walnuts)- wander across Spain, filmed in very long takes using natural light, the camera hardly bothering about what is in front of it, with hardly any music (when a guitar plays a short melody after about ninety minutes it is an astonishing shock) and hardly any action. They talk, minimally- the Don giving Sancho orders, go for a swim, sleep. The Don shouts challenges to imaginary enemies who do not answer him. Eventually, in a mysterious dream-like scene, four horsemen silently carry away the Don. Sancho, left with the don's sword, chops down herbs with it and answers questions about his relations with the Don and why he serves him. The two meet up again and wander on. Eventually the don dies. End of film after nearly two hours. That makes it sound more eventful than it actually is. There is a curious pointlessness and banality about everything that happens- for example, the camera watches an almost-dark patch for minutes on end, with the stems of two plants moving in the wind and- with a shock- when he moves we realise that the Don's face was behind them all the time. Once you adjust you realise that there are astonishing and beautiful shots, but you have to adjust to a zen quality in it. i'm certainly glad to have seen the film, but I certainly wouldn't want to see it again.
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