Lost in La Mancha
|Lost in La Mancha|
|Directed by||Keith Fulton
|Produced by||Lucy Darwin|
|Written by||Keith Fulton
|Music by||Miriam Cutler|
|Release date(s)||30 August 2002|
|Running time||93 mins.|
Lost in La Mancha (2002) is a documentary film narrated by Jeff Bridges about Terry Gilliam's failed first attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film adaptation of the novel Don Quixote. Lost in La Mancha presents Gilliam's quest to make this movie as a parallel to Quixote's quest to become a hero.
Finding the source material by Miguel de Cervantes too vast, Gilliam and his cowriter decided to create their own version of the Quixote story, including a major change inspired by A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The character of Sancho Panza would appear only very early in the film, to be replaced by Toby Grisoni, a twenty-first century marketing executive thrown back through time, whom Quixote mistakes for Panza.
Terry Gilliam was very excited to make this movie, since Don Quixote embodies many of the themes that run through his own work (such as the individual versus society, the concept of sanity, etc.). The entire movie would have been filmed in Spain and throughout Europe. Jean Rochefort was picked to play Don Quixote, in preparation for which he spent seven months learning English. Toby was to be played by Johnny Depp, and Vanessa Paradis would have been his love interest.
Lost in La Mancha tells the story of the film's very delicate schedule and budget, which completely unraveled once production began. Gilliam is shown early on telling his crew not to be afraid to tell him that something is too complicated or expensive to be done because he needs to be restrained sometimes. In another interview he says he wants his films to be seen and enjoyed by the widest audience possible.
On the first day of shooting, the crew discovered that their outdoor filming location in the area known as Bardenas Reales was plagued by nearly constant noise from a nearby NATO aircraft target practice area. Gilliam decided to continue capturing footage, expecting to replace the audio in post-production. The second day of shooting featured a flash flood and hail which damaged equipment, and permanently changed the appearance of the location, where some shots had not yet been completed.
Days later it became clear that Rochefort was injured, and within a week Gilliam learned that Rochefort had a herniated disc and would be unable to continue filming. This ended production completely and resulted in a record $15 million insurance claim. The insurance company owned the rights to the screenplay for several years, until they were transferred back to Gilliam. Production of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was restarted in 2008.
The Lost in La Mancha filmmakers, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, had previously made a documentary about Gilliam's film 12 Monkeys titled The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys and were strongly supported by Gilliam throughout their filming. Gilliam reportedly often has people documenting the making of films so that should something go wrong he has a record of the events from his perspective.
- Review from rte.ie
- Alica-Azania Jarvis (2008-08-04). "Pandora: Don Quixote rides again, says delighted Gilliam". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
Further reading 
Dominguez, Julia.“Luces, cámara… inacción en Lost in La Mancha: la realidad de una ficción que nunca existió.” Cervantes 27.2 (2007): 23-42