Lost in la Mancha
About IDFA
Lost in la Mancha
IDFA 2002

Lost in la Mancha

Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
89 min
Festival history
This documentary was meant to be the ‘making of’ Terry Gilliam’s feature film THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. However, as the subtitle of LOST IN LA MANCHA indicates, it became the ‘un-making of’. The idiosyncratic Gilliam had previously made commercially successful films such as BRAZIL (1985) and TWELVE MONKEYS (1995). But during the production process of DON QUIXOTE, the fear of a second THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1988), a film that ended in financial failure, grew. From the beginning, the production was afflicted by setbacks. The 32-million-dollar budget was far too low, Gilliam admits. This meant tight deadlines and budgets. Too tight: when F16s, flying over constantly, illness of leading actor Jean Rochefort and a cloudburst made shooting impossible, the film was doomed to fail. Panic-stricken, the filmmakers run back and forth between financiers, insurance agents and cast and crew. Despite all this misery, the spectator is offered a glimpse of Gilliam’s vision of the classic story by Cervantes. Including windmills and giants, the screen tests of Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, and animated storyboards by Gilliam – who started his career as the animator for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Gilliam himself, like a true Don Quixote, keeps his spirits up for a long time: ‘If it’s easy, I don’t do it; if it’s almost impossible to do, I have a go at it.’
World Sales
Screening copy
    Quixote Films Limited, Darwin & Associates
    Quixote Films Limited, Darwin & Associates