Lost In La Mancha Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe

Lost In La Mancha Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe
Subtitled "The Un-Making of Don Quixote," Lost In La Mancha chronicles filmmaker Terry Gilliam's decade-long effort to make a film called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote — and it earns the dubious distinction of being the first-ever making-of documentary for a film that doesn't exist. The Quixote tale, in brief: he's an old man (played by 70-year-old French actor Jean Rochefort, who spent months learning English, and came down with prostate problems days before shooting, mostly on horseback, was to start) despondent that he's made nothing of his life. Thematically, Quixote is about the power of the imagination to triumph over harsh reality — and in this brilliant documentary, of course, Gilliam is more than a little Quixotic. It's no surprise that what little footage Gilliam managed to shoot, with Johnny Depp in the lead, looks fantastic. Add to that some extensive deleted scenes on this two-disc DVD, and this is as close to Gilliam's Quixote as we will get, at least for now. Gilliam once again proves himself an erudite speaker and intelligent and affable guy in two extended documentaries: a fascinating Telluride fest conversation with Salman Rushdie, and a career-spanning Independent Film Channel interview with critic Elvis Mitchell. Context is added by supplemental interviews with Gilliam, Depp, and the directors, which showcase how this making-of made-for-TV doc took a fraction of the footage they expected and turned it from a one-hour promotional effort into this fascinating feature-length piece. Although Gilliam has since moved on to shooting a fairy tale/biography of the Brothers Grimm, he's still fighting to finish his Quixote. Running up that hill after those damn windmills. Extras: cast and crew interviews; deleted scenes; Telluride "conversations"; "IFC Focus"; storyboards and production stills. (IFC/Alliance Atlantis)