Saturday, March 27, 2010

LOST IN LA MANCHA

I've never been a big fan of Terry Gilliam. His best work was in Monty Python, and that was co-directed. I've always suspected that the other Terry (Jones) was the genius in that instance. Of his other films, most are unwatchable, and the few that are passable are very, very highly overrated, especially by film students, who are easily impressed by the techincal. He puts far more emphasis on technique than on the things that really matter, a good story and involving characters.

So I was interested in seeing the documentary made years ago about his attempts to film DON QUIXOTE. I finally got around to watching it on Netflix. It's not a great film, but it does show his failures as a director. He is terrible at dealing with actors, except for Johnny Depp, who appears to direct himself quite well. He is unable to foresee even the simplest of problems, and then cannot deal with them at all. He seems to think that somehow everything will fix itself, and just yells when things go wrong. He certainly seems far from the genius everyone describes.

There certainly appear to be moments of visual interest in his film, but just about everything else about his directing looks terrible. It's an interesting study in how to not direct a film. Oh, and once again, he's trying to get the film off the ground. Oy, vey.
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