Lost in La Mancha
A documentary detailing director Terry Gilliam's (Time Bandits, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 12 Monkeys) failed attempt to film his script The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Lost in La Mancha inevitably reminds one of 1991's Hearts of Darkness, another documentary about less-than-ideal filmmaking conditions. The latter film chronicles the ridiculously chaotic shooting of Apocalypse Now, a production threatened by numerous calamities and near-psychotic behavior on the part of almost everyone involved. But whereas Apocalypse Now overcame all odds against it, Lost in La Mancha shows Gilliam's dreams toppled by an aggregate of much more mundane circumstances--health problems, unseasonable weather, unexpected noise from military jets on location--none of which were allowed for in Quixote's unusually tight budget and shooting schedule. La Mancha gives us glimpses of the little footage former Monty Python actor/illustrator Gilliam managed to get in the can, snapshots of a film (starring Johnny Depp as a modern-day time traveler whisked into the fictional world of Quixote) that might have matched Gilliam's dark, imaginative best. Like Hearts of Darkness, this fun (if not funny) documentary should be required viewing to test the resolve of anyone hoping to embark on a career in filmmaking.