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Movie Review: Lost in La Mancha

Alternate Title: To Dream the Impossible Dream

Story: To dream the impossible dream is what this wonderful documentary by filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe is all about. They were given complete access to preproduction, creative meetings and the many ensuing glitches that followed by director Terry Gilliam as he attempted to film his ill-fated The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in Spain, in 2000.

Gilliam had worked on this film for about ten years before we enter the picture. Ultimately working with only half the necessary budget needed for his vision they plowed ahead with all of the heartfelt passion that is necessary for creativity to flourish. Bad things turn to worse as weather, sickness, insurance and Murphy's Law kick into full gear.

The film is painful to watch at times but also uplifting as we watch a genius and survivor like Gilliam keep his passion alive. I knew that the film was never going to be made but I kept cheering for him anyway. You will too.

If you have a need to burst into song or are thinking about windmills-

Go to: A Tribute To Don Quixote De La Mancha

http://together.net/~donutrun/quix.htm

Acting: It is a documentary so this category doesn't apply. However, the few clips that we actually saw of the film did not impress me too much. French actor, John Rochefort, as Don Quixote would have been a very sympathetic character. Johnny Depp as Sancho Panza was a bit hard to swallow but I laughed and went with it. Terry Gilliam is terrific to watch. You can see his creative mind working.

Predilections: I like documentaries. I like films about struggle. And who doesn't have a little place in their heart for Don Quixote?

Critters: Horses and a fish.

Food: I am sure if there were food in this film it would have been burned or found to contain some sickening bacteria.

Visual Art: Lots of wonderful drawings by Gilliam of Don Quixote and some terrific scenes with creative imagery ala Julie Taymor.

Blatant Product Placement: There probably aren't any paid for product placements in this documentary but I did notice Marlboros and Coca Cola.

Opening Titles: Creative. If you do go to see the film please stay through the credits for a much needed smile.

Theater Audience: The theater was gated and locked when I got there 10 minutes before showtime. This did not seem to bode well. The small crowd that gathered for the same show laughed when I remarked that it seemed appropriate that the theater would be locked for a documentary about a movie where everything goes terribly wrong. Ultimately the staff arrived and we all scurried to our seats.

Quirky Meter: 4

Squirm Scale: Squirmy only in the sense that I wanted something to go right for these hardworking filmmakers.

Predictability Level: High

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: Please - after all the trouble these people had - I would not even consider nit-picking.

Big Screen or Rental: Oh, go for the big screen on this one (if you can find it). If you want to read more about Terry Gilliam and his other quests and films (12 Monkeys, The Fisher King,):

Length: 90 minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 7