Directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, whose “Hamster Factory” witness to Gilliam’s “The Twelve Monkeys” proved that “Making of…” docs need not be fawning paeans to the genius of all involved, nor sycophantic celebrations of the warm and fuzzy working environment on every movie set ever assembled. These two chaps seem to be Gilliam’s personal biographers – although they’ve now moved on (of course) to their own fictional gig, “Living and Breathing”.
But back to Spain, where the rain does fall on the plain, a lot…Mr. Higgins, you-have-no-idea…
Terry Gilliam has been trying to make a feature film adaptation of Cervantes’“Don Quixote” since 1991, or thereabouts. He has struggled valiantly against a host of obstacles (read financiers), and as this documentary begins, we learn he has finally acquired enough funding, all of it European, to squeeze out a production that might just approximate the rich tapestry currently residing in his Pythonesque cerebrum. Gilliam plans to make this $70 million for $35.1 million, and nothing seems to be able to stop him…that is, until he actually gets started.
As with “Hamster Factory”, this feature shows the truth about the unglamorous aspects of getting a film made. Unlike the “Twelve Monkeys” documentary, this project keeps rolling as Gilliam’s quest becomes swiftly unseated, landing unceremoniously in a mess of hailstorms, hemorrhoids, and high-flying (make that “not-so-high-flying”) Spanish fighter jets.
This film is a must-see for film students, as well as for those wishing to better understand why movie tickets cost so much!
As those of you who read my reviews in the past know, I don’t rehash the whole story, but prefer to share a few hors-d’oeuvres, in the form of background, and sideline info, leaving the meat for dinnertime.