Lost in La Mancha, the 2002 documentary detailing Crazy Terry Gilliam’s™ ill-fated attempts to make a Don Quixote movie, has been on my mind all week.
First (and most tangentially), I posted Telemann’s “Burlesque de Don Quixotte” earlier this week, and I can’t even see (or use) the word “quixote” any more without thinking of Gilliam. The man’s a living, breathing, heart-breaking example of the term.
I love Terry Gilliam. I know him a little. Have you ever seen an animal, still alive, fighting for life in a steel trap? That’s Terry’s utterly unique, genius lunatic creativity fighting the system.
But the deal is real! Terry Gilliam has that sweet, sweet Amazon money, and he’s going to use some of it to finally — finally! — put The Man Who Killed Don Quixote out into the world.
I fully expect my hopes to be brutally dashed in the not-too-distant future, because that’s now Crazy Terry Gilliam™ rolls (whether he wants to or not.) But in the meantime, watch Lost in La Mancha. It’s streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT, can be rented from AMAZON INSTANT($) and SUNDANCE NOW($), is part of Sundance Now’s DOC CLUB service, and remains firmly ensconced as my second-favorite documentary about making movies ever. Right behind Burden of Dreams (which is streaming on HULU PLUS) and a smidge above Hearts of Darkness (which isn’t streaming anywhere, as far as I can tell).
Visionary director Terry Gilliam has a dream. He wants to film the classic story of Don Quixote by recasting it as a trippy, time-traveling, mistaken-identity adventure with Johnny Depp as Quixote. After struggling for years to get financing, insurance and a cast in place, Gilliam travels to Spain and promptly watches his dream fall apart. From flash floods to cast no-shows to serious injuries, Gilliam and his crew suffer one setback after another.