Friday, 11 March 2011
28) LOST IN LA MANCHA
Simply put: IF YOU HAVE ANY INTEREST IN FILM, IN THE FILM-MAKING PROCESS OR SEEING THE RESULT IN THE CINEMA, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS FLICK.
A film is always someone’s baby. No matter the aims or concepts, the money or the time, a film will always matter to one of its creators. When the result is a success, the pride is often only exposed in DVD commentaries or in interviews (where it can be mistaken for arrogance) but when it fails it can leave scars. But while the likes of Michael Bay can rue his TF2 mistakes in the knowledge that at least the film make a bucketload of cash, you can only have pity for the films that suffer the curse of failing mid-shoot. Falling apart with the promise of results already on daily rushes. LOST IN LA MANCHA details one such collapse as the fragile shoot suffers one tragedy after another – environmental, then physical, then financial.
Terry Gilliam commences shooting on his long-cherished project THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE with an impressive cast list, a solid crew and a budget to convey most, if not all, of his visions to the screen. He was shadowed by film-makers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe who had produced the superior ‘making of’ doc THE HAMPSTER FACTOR for Gilliams TWELVE MONKEYS. Six days later, the production is dead, a cast member is on his way to hospital, a large amount of the initial props and technical gear are damaged and the docco makers find themselves shooting a film obituary.
Detailing much more would spoil the events of the docco, but don’t think this is all doom and gloom. In the brief moments of progress, you get to see Johnny Depp making his rather odious character shine on the screen, provide enthusiastic creativity for the director off of it. You get a feel of the costume/art departments stunning sets and locations, the DoP’s consummate skill, a 1st AD that couldn’t have come off any better if the docco was for his resume. On top of this you also get Gilliam creating cinema gold with a few local inhabitants, using simple camera techniques to create what would have been some fantastic characters. This is all potential, the creative spark, and I defy viewers not to wish for the end product to have somehow made it to the silver screen.
If you pick up the DVD, you will also find some of the filmed footage, a few wonderfull interviews (Depp and Gilliam) and art stills of the project.
No excuses, go watch.