Lost in La Mancha

Last night Shannon and I watched the DVD of Lost In La Mancha. It’s a documentary that tells the story of Terry Gilliam’s 10 year attempt to make a film based on the story of Don Quixote.

It’s heart-breaking to watch the series of events that bring the production to its knees. None of them are Gilliam’s fault or under his control, but his obstinacy about not accepting US funding, as a matter of principal, does put the whole effort on a knife edge at its outset, both financially, and because of the language problems throughout the european crew.

Still, Gilliam doesn’t come across as the out of control maveric that he’s portrayed to be, and the few bits of real footage of the movie that you do see in the documentary really make you hope that he does eventually get the thing produced.

The footage is the highlight of the documentary, really. And the DVD extras, particularly the interview with Gilliam, are great. You have to admire him for letting a documentary team have unlimited access to him during such a fraught production (he agreed, for example, to have a mic on at all times).