Lost in La Mancha

Elyn doesn’t really enjoy documentaries, so I don’t watch them as often as I’d like. However, Steve and Chrissy came over the other night, and as far as I can tell they only watch documentaries, so we ended up watching Lost in La Mancha.

This movie records Terry Gilliam’s attempt to film his version of Don Quixote. It turns out to be a comedy of errors, and most of the emotional hooks in the movie are laughs at the absurdity of their situation; otherwise the movie failed to connect.

Content-wise what impressed me the most was the seeming lack of knowledge that Gilliam had about his own enterprise. He didn’t know the status of contracts, there was a huge oversight in location choice, etc… I would have liked to have seen more about how these failures came to be.

In sum this was an interesting — but not gripping — behind-the-scenes look at a failed film.

4 Comments

  • > Content-wise what impressed me the most was the seeming lack of
    > knowledge that Gilliam had about his own enterprise.

    I know nothing about the business, but don’t those sound like things to do
    for the producer rather than director?

  • I wrote up a review of Lost In La Mancha a few years ago, and, geekily, compared it to the software development process: http://www.mooreds.com/wordpress/archives/000143

  • Frank — yeah, you’d think so, but their first reaction to the problems was to talk about firing the first assistant director. Dan’s blog entry is pretty good on this stuff…

    Dan — nice comparison. Actually something like that is what possessed me to start writing a movie editor as an Eclipse plugin. I seem to have given up on that… bad for me but perhaps best for the world at large :-)

  • It turns out to be a comedy of errors

    I felt it was a murder mystery — what will turn out to kill the movie?

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