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LOST IN LA MANCHA
USA: IFC Films
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis, Bernard Bouix, Rene Cleitman, Benjamin Fernandez, Tony Grisoni, Phil Patterson, Nicola Pecorini, Gabriella Pescucci, Jean Rochefort
Directors: Keith Fulton; Louis Pepe
USA & UK: 93 mins
USA Rated: R for language
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 31 January 2003 (Limited Release - Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco)
UK Release Date: 2 August 2002
LOST IN LA MANCHA may be the first 'un-making of' documentary. In a genre that exists to hype films before their release, LOST IN LA MANCHA presents an unexpected twist: it is the story of a film that does not exist. Instead of a sanitised glimpse behind the scenes, LOST IN LA MANCHA offers a unique, in-depth look at the harsher realities of filmmaking. With drama that ranges from personal conflicts to epic storms, this is a record of a film disintegrating.
Ten years of development including two previous attempts to start the film had already preceded Terry Gilliam's adaptation of DON QUIXOTE when filming eventually began in September 2000.
Joining the Madrid based production team eight weeks before the shoot LOST IN LA MANCHA directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe witness the successes as well as the failures and problems quickly begin to emerge. The set is beset with mounting problems and production halts six days in.
Uniquely, after Quixote's cameras have stopped rolling, the documentary continues to record events as they unfold. LOST IN LA MANCHA is less a process piece about filmmakers at work and more a powerful drama about the inherent fragility of the creative process - a compelling study of how, even with an abundance of the best will and passion, the artistic endeavour can remain an impossible dream.