Author Topic: Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha  (Read 20590 times)

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MacGuffin

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« on: January 22, 2003, 05:10:52 PM »
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Lost In La Mancha may be the first 'un-making of' documentary. In a genre that exists to hype films before their release, Lost In La Mancha presents an unexpected twist: it is the story of a film that does not exist. Instead of a sanitised glimpse behind the scenes, Lost In La Mancha offers a unique, in-depth look at the harsher realities of filmmaking. With drama that ranges from personal conflicts to epic storms, this is a record of a film disintegrating.

In September 2000, when the cameras began rolling on Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Don Quixote, the production already had a chequered past including ten years of development, a series of producers and two previous attempts to start the film. Gilliam had achieved the difficult task of financing the $32 million budget entirely within Europe - a feat that would provide him with freedom from the creative restrictions of Hollywood. The uphill journey was not, however, inconsistent with Gilliam's career: his more than fifteen year history of battling the Hollywood machine had cast him, like Quixote, as a visionary dreamer who rages against gigantic forces.

Joining the Madrid based production team eight weeks before the shoot, Lost In La Mancha directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe witness the successes as well as the failures. Problems are quick to emerge: the multilingual crew struggles to communicate detailed ideas; actors remain absent as they run over schedule on other projects; and everything from untrained horses to a sound stage - that isn't sound-proof - threatens the film. But through it all, there is the palpable, mounting excitement that Gilliam's ideas will finally come to fruition: the crew watch test footage of marauding giants; puppeteers rehearse a troop of life-size marionettes; Gilliam and Johnny Depp brainstorm over the script. By the time Jean Rochefort straps on his Quixote armour, success, though far off, seems almost possible.

Not long into production disaster strikes: flash floods destroy sets and damage camera equipment; the lead actor falls seriously ill; and on the sixth day production is brought to its knees. Uniquely, after Quixote's cameras have stopped rolling, the documentary continues to record events as they unfold: the crew waits, insurance men and bondsmen scramble with calculators and interpretations of 'force majeure' and behind it Gilliam struggles to maintain both belief and momentum in his project.

In the best tradition of documentary filmmaking, Lost In La Mancha captures all the drama of this story through 'fly-on-the-wall' vérité footage and on-the-spot interviews. Gilliam's plans for the non-existent film come alive in animations of his storyboards, narrated and voiced by co-writer Tony Grisoni and Gilliam himself. And with the camera tests of the leading actors and the rushes from the only six days of photography, Lost In La Mancha offers a tantalizing glimpse of the cinematic spectacle that might have been.

Lost In La Mancha is less a process piece about filmmakers at work and more a powerful drama about the inherent fragility of the creative process - a compelling study of how, even with an abundance of the best will and passion, the artistic endeavor can remain an impossible dream.

More about the production: http://www.smart.co.uk/lostinlamancha/lm_story.htm

The film open on Jan. 31 in select cities, then rolls out further. Check here for further info: http://www.smart.co.uk/lostinlamancha/lm_usa.htm

Click here to watch trailer.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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sphinx

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2003, 05:29:58 PM »
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more gilliam news: apparently 'good omens' is 'resting', the budget is in excess of $60 million, and all he needs is for a studio to fund it, and the cameras will start rolling on the project.  no word if robin williams and johnny depp are still involved, though

Duck Sauce

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2003, 06:37:14 PM »
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Its weird how a movie can just get shut down like this. Im not the biggest Gilliam fan but Id still like to see the result. So is it never to be finished?

Satcho9

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2003, 08:58:40 PM »
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It's really a shame when a great filmmaker like Gilliam can't get a movie made. There should be a benefit concert for him. TerryAID...

Kumar

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2003, 02:37:49 PM »
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I cant understand why Hollywood wouldn't want to make his film. Oh yeah, its because he's creative and talented, he should do a sequel of some shity movie they will make that. arggg :x  :x  :x  :x  :x  :x  :x
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MacGuffin

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2003, 05:07:44 PM »
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From the Los Angeles Times:

Still having the last laugh

As Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote film crumbled before his eyes, he made sure every disaster was recorded.


Terry Gilliam, the maverick director responsible for such off-center films as "Time Bandits," "12 Monkeys" and "Brazil," met his match when he tackled Cervantes' Don Quixote. His 10-year battle to bring the character to the screen became an obsession -- one he was forced to suspend when his $32-million production had the plug pulled by the insurance company in October 2000 after just six days of shooting.

Chronicling the film's decline and fall were documentarians Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, brought in to track the evolution of the project. What they capture in "Lost in La Mancha," which opens here Friday, is part black comedy, part Greek tragedy -- with Gilliam unflinchingly keeping himself in the crosshairs of the lens.

Why did you invite the pair to document the making of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote"? Shooting under a microscope is dicey at best. Wasn't the camera an unwanted visitor when things began to sour?

Keith and Louis had done a film about the making of "12 Monkeys" when they were grad school film students at Temple University in Philadelphia. I wanted a record of the making of my Don Quixote movie and, when things went bad, had a morbid curiosity about what its death would look like in retrospect. The idea of a documentary is that you're telling the truth, which is in such short supply these days. When things started crashing, I told them to keep recording because we were disappearing. No one has ever done a documentary about the "unmaking" of a film and, though I was miserable at times, I never turned off the mike.

The shoot was plagued with problems of almost biblical proportion -- a flash flood, wretched acoustics on the soundstage, noise from NATO fire-bombers, a lead actor hospitalized with a double herniated disc. Did you begin to feel like Job?

When the storm started beating on us, I couldn't decide if I was King Lear or Job. I just knew that I was being punished. One of the key elements of the script is punishment -- for hubris, vanity -- and we got it by the bucket-load. It certainly was proof positive there is a God -- he just doesn't like me. The experience made me very religious, or superstitious, at least. Orson Welles and Fred Schepisi both abandoned their attempt to shoot a Quixote movie -- and I've had four false starts. Maybe the project is jinxed.

Could you have done anything to avoid the debacle?

Going in, I was aware that our budget left no room for problems or mistakes, but my job is to maintain the illusion. Any filmmaker, any daring filmmaker, will tell you that making movies is always a nightmare -- very unlike the EPKs [Electronic Press Kits] in which everyone is smiling.

You're trying to buy back the rights back from an insurance company that paid out what is said to be one of the most expensive claims ever for a European film.

The claim, I've heard, was for between $12 million and $15 million. It was the first time this company had been involved with a movie. They were also heavy into the World Trade Center, so these weren't happy people.

You've said that you often reenact the movie you're shooting. In this case, pursuing the impossible dream.

"Brazil" was a David and Goliath tale of one man versus the system -- and I went head-to-head with Universal over its release. [In "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"] Munchausen was a grandiose liar -- and the film was labeled one of the most expensive failures of all time, a statement blown way out of proportion. Quixote is a man who's crushed trying to make a banal world more interesting. I share his madness. And the "last hurrah" theme -- doing something extraordinary before you kick the bucket -- is even more powerful now that I'm 62. The grave is slowly pulling me to the ground.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2003, 10:53:54 AM »
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Damon, Ledger, Williams & Pryce in Brothers Grimm

Variety reports that Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Robin Williams and Jonathan Pryce are in line to become MGM's fairy tale cast for its comedic actioner Brothers Grimm. In development at the studio for nearly two years, the film is now on the fast track for a 2004 release under the direction of Terry Gilliam.

The action-adventure tale revolving around the legendary German brothers and fairy tale scribes Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is set to start shooting around Prague in June.

Written by The Ring screenwriter Ehren Kruger, the fictional plot has the folklore collectors, now called Jake and Will, traveling from village to village pretending to protect townsfolk from enchanted creatures and pulling off exorcisms. They are put to the test when they encounter a real magical curse, requiring genuine courage.

Final negotiations on the castings are underway, calling for Damon and Ledger to play the brothers, while Williams and Pryce would portray the villains Cavaldi and Delatombe.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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©brad

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2003, 12:43:34 PM »
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Good interview. Terry Gilliam is the man. Can't wait to see Lost in La Mancha.

modage

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2003, 11:51:51 AM »
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ScreenDaily reports that Terry Gilliam's $75m comedy, Brothers Grimm, kicks off its 17-week shoot in Prague today with the likes of Czech towns & castles such as Krivoklat, Kacina, Kutna Hora and Ledec doubling for 19th-century Germany. Matt Damon, Heath Ledger and Jonathan Pryce lead the impressive cast but both Robin Williams and Nicole Kidman had to drop out of appearing.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

MacGuffin

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2003, 08:21:57 PM »
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Just watched the "Lost In La Mancha" doc and it was great. It sets up Gilliam's passion to make the movie beautifully - you see the guy get so giddy with excitement at a script reading. That's why it's so heartbreaking and sad when things go wrong right from the start of production. It's almost unreal what destroys the movie - the planes flying overhead, the bad weather - you want to laugh because of that, but then see how bad Gilliam takes it and you can't help but feel for the guy. It's such a shame, but hopefully he will get another chance to finish it.

I highly recommend the two-disc DVD set. It is so full of extras that any Gilliam fan will drool over. There are two one-hour long interviews (one with Salman Rushdie, one with Elvis Mitchell), and more behind the scenes stuff about "Quixote".
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2003, 01:42:57 PM »
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Yes, yes. I just got this on DVD and it's so great. Terry will get his Don Quixode film made some day. And it's so cool to hear Johnny Depp say he's ready and he'll be there with him when it happens (and how great is Johnny's stuff that got shot).
Everyone run out and get this Extremely Entertaining And Hilarious Presentation Of Every Film Director's Worst Nightmare.
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modage

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2003, 03:45:00 PM »
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The Brothers Grimm: The first on-set photos from the fantasy comedy feature are up at Filmpub whilst Uma Thurman and Czech star Tomas Hanak have joined the cast, likely taking over the roles left by Nicole Kidman & Robin Williams.

pictures: http://filmpub.atlas.cz/clanek.asp?clanekid=3079
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

ShanghaiOrange

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2003, 07:08:29 PM »
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The Rushdie/Gilliam interview on the bonus disk is the best interview ever. :(
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lamas

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2003, 09:10:06 PM »
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Yeah, if Rushdie would've shut the fuck up and quit interjecting stories about himself.  Looked to me like he really didn't care what Gilliam had to say.  He was just waiting for his turn to speak.

modage

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Terry Gilliam - Lost In La Mancha
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2003, 09:35:09 PM »
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just watched Lost in La Mancha.  god it was so terrible to watch. even in the beginning when everything was fine, just knowing how it would end, made it terrible.  everything for the film looked so great, and then when things started going wrong, i just couldnt take it.  god, i hope he can buy back the rights and make this thing.  i imagine the costumes and all that are still boxed up somewhere, and obviously the script and storyboards are already done, so if he got decent financing, i dont see how it would be too imposible.  oh well. :cry:
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

 

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