Toby, a disillusioned film director, becomes pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality.
A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.
Sam, a disenchanted young man, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment's pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre.
David Robert Mitchell
Toby, a cynical but supposedly genius film director finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoe-maker who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth - a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?
The first location shoot (at the first production in August 2000) was at Bardenas Reales, a scenic, barren area near a military base north of Madrid, Spain. Fighter jets flew overhead repeatedly, ruining the audio and mandating post-production re-dubbing. See more »
An autobiographical tale about films, stories and dreams
Not a masterpiece, not a disaster, The man who killed Don Quixote has the qualities and faults of what it is, that is to say, basically, a film for one spectator only : Terry Gilliam himself.
Announcing its legend in the opening credits, the film takes pleasure in referring quite openly to the misadventures of Lost in La Mancha, most often through lines put in the mouth of the producer played by Stellan Skarsgard. These winks would be at best anecdotic, at worst narcissistic, if we didn't realize little by little that, we are in the presence of a true cinematic exorcism. Exorcism of this damned project, certainly. Exorcism also, through the character of Toby, of what Gilliam could have become if he had listened to the sirens of advertising and had become a soulless hack. Exorcism finally, and this is the most touching, of what Gilliam is afraid of becoming (and that he may have already become for some), that is to say an old fool who no longer interests anyone, an old dreamer in a materialistic world, a relic from another time, mocked and ridiculed. Thus, despite all its failures (problems of rhythm, lack of breath due to lack of money, episodic structure that works randomly and unfortunately makes Quixote disappear many times), we can only admire this film which bears on its face its testamentary dimension. Transmission, summary of a life, return on his youth, everything is there. Gilliam is Quixote, Gilliam is Toby, Gilliam will die but Gilliam is immortal since his dreams are forever with us on film. This is the bittersweet and somewhat crazy statement of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film about films, a story about stories, an endless dream.
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