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Lost In La Mancha
Lost in La Mancha (2002) is a documentary film narrated by Jeff Bridges about Terry Gilliam’s failed first attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film adaptation of the novel Don Quixote. Lost in La Mancha presents Gilliam’s quest to make this movie as a parallel to Quixote’s quest to become a hero.
Finding the source material by Miguel de Cervantes too vast, Gilliam and his cowriter decided to create their own version of the Quixote story, including a major change inspired by A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The character of Sancho Panza would appear only very early in the film, to be replaced by Toby Grisoni, a twenty-first century marketing executive thrown back through time, whom Quixote mistakes for Panza.
Terry Gilliam was very excited to make this movie, since Don Quixote embodies many of the themes that run through his own work (such as the individual versus society, the concept of sanity, etc.). The entire movie would have been filmed in Spain and throughout Europe. Jean Rochefort was picked to play Don Quixote, in preparation for which he spent seven months learning English.
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