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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This week at SFC - Lost in La Mancha

The Studiofilmclub is now screening its films in the front foyer space of building 7.
Food and drink are available courtesy CAFÉ 7.
Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome. doors open 7:30 - film starts 8:15 pm.

You are welcome to STAY LATE for our weekly post Film Club lime... Food, Drinks and Music.
"Lost in la mancha"
Filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe initially set out to chronicle the making of Director Terry Gilliams, "the man who killed Don Quixote" that was to star Jean Rochefort,
Johnny depp, and Vanessa Paradis. Instead they captured the floods, bombings, and various "acts of god" that shut the movie down. The result is "Lost in La Mancha", a documentary about a courageous but capsizing production.
By presenting Gilliam's story, Fulton and Pepe also illustrate the joy and pain that all filmmakers experience to some degree. We often witness Gilliam's frustration, but we also see his delight when his vision briefly comes to life.

Nominated for Best Film at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.

"Lost in La Mancha" / 2003/ Keith Fulton & Luis Pepe / 93 mins / UK

"Making a film is essentially about two things: belief and momentum" -- Terry Gilliam 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. In September 2000, when the cameras began rolling on Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Don Quixote, the production already had a chequered past including ten years of development, a series of producers and two previous attempts to start the film. Gilliam had achieved the difficult task of financing the
$32 million budget entirely within Europe -- a feat that would provide him with freedom from the creative restrictions of Hollywood. The uphill journey was not, however, inconsistent with Gilliam's career: his more than fifteen year history of battling the Hollywood machine had cast him, like Quixote, as a visionary dreamer who rages against gigantic forces. 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. Problems are quick to emerge: the multilingual crew struggles to communicate detailed ideas; actors remain absent as they run over schedule on other projects; and everything from untrained horses to a sound stage -- that isn't sound-proof -- threatens the film. But through it all, there is the palpable, mounting excitement that Gilliam's ideas will finally come to fruition: the crew watch test footage of marauding giants; puppeteers rehearse a troop of life-size marionettes; Gilliam and Johnny Depp brainstorm over the script. By the time Jean Rochefort straps on his Quixote armour, success, though far off, seems almost possible. Not long into production disaster strikes: flash floods destroy sets and damage camera equipment; the lead actor falls seriously ill; and on the sixth day production is brought to its knees. Uniquely, after Quixote's cameras have
stopped rolling, the documentary continues to record events as they unfold: the crew waits, insurance men and bondsmen scramble with calculators and interpretations of "force majeure" and behind it Gilliam struggles to maintain both belief and momentum in his project. In the best tradition of documentary filmmaking, Lost In La Mancha captures all the drama of this story through "fly-on-the-wall" vérité footage and
on-the-spot interviews. Gilliam's plans for the non-existent film come alive in animations of his storyboards, narrated and voiced by co-writer Tony Grisoni and Gilliam himself. And with the camera tests of the leading actors and the rushes from the only six days of photography, Lost In La Mancha offers a tantalizing glimpse of the cinematic spectacle that might have been. 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 endeavor can remain an impossible dream.


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