I took notice of the films of Terry Gilliam with 12 Monkeys, and realized that he made two films I grew up watching, them being Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. And I’m not going to go into how I lost my shit when I found out he was a part of Monty Python. Nope, not gonna.
Instead I want to dive into his troubled history with his passion project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The craziness of it all, and how awesome it was that Gilliam just didn’t give up.
Gilliam had been developing some kind of Don Quixote project since 1989. After trying to get it started, he finally enters production in 1998.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote actually started filming in 2000, with Johnny Depp as the lead, and Jean Rochefort as Don Quixote. And it’s astonishing ruin was all captured on film.
Lost in La Mancha started off as a DVD bonus feature for the movie, when it became an actual documentation of how film can just fall apart.
It started with military jets kept running their sound, to a flood destroying key sets, and Rochefort injuring his back and dropping out the film.
It’s quite honestly one hell of a trainwreck to watch. Like, there was some entity that was ensuring Gilliam not make this movie.
What’s so inspirational about the whole thing is that after Gilliam witnessed his dream project fall apart before his very eyes, he vowed to get the movie made; saying that he has the whole movie in his head, and how he needs to put it out there.
Well, after more false starts, he finally got his passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote released with Adam Driver and Jonathan Price, him having starred in Giliam’s Brazil. I wanted to throw this little bit of history to understand the context of my viewing experience without having it take over the entire forthcoming review. A film deserves a shot at being just a film, sort to speak.
I’m excited to finally see this movie, one that I should’ve seen almost twenty years ago, but I still get to see it. Whether the film is good or bad remains to be seen, but I have to applaud a filmmaker realizing his vision on film.