25 May 2008

Terry Gilliam (addendum)

2002 | Lost in La Mancha (directed by Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe)
The directors of The Hamster Factor return to shoot another fly-on-the-wall documentary, this time for Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. As fate would have it, they have the incredible luck to be rolling as this film completely falls apart before their eyes within the short space of 6 days. Though plenty of films have been started and never finished, as far as I can tell this is the first behind-the-scenes documentary that actually captured the unmaking as it happened.

Fortunately, the timidity displayed during their previous documentary is gone here. Fulton and Pepe capture the anguish of all involved as they struggle to preserve their film. Ailing Jean Rochefort tries and fails to hid a grimace of pain as he dismounts his horse. A.D. Phil Patterson tries to single-handedly keep everything together before quitting in utter frustration. Gilliam tries to keep his game face on while shooting -- which he pushes to do as often as possible despite accumulating production issues -- but his eyes betray that he's all-too-aware he's in the middle of another Munchausen.

Worth watching for the biblical monsoon/hail storm scene alone. (7/10)