Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote comes unraveled in “Lost in La Mancha” – screening October 18 in Lowell!

PLUS a special Lowell Film Collaborative Anniversary Celebration! 

Tuesday, October 18
Boott Cotton Mills Museum Events Center
115 John Street (2nd Floor), Lowell
Free admission! 

Celebrate the LFC’s 3-Year Anniversary with delicious cake & social time!

“Lost in La Mancha” film screening

Join us for the FINAL film of our 2011 “Film & the Arts Series AND help us commemorate the LFC’s 3-Year Anniversary! Friends, to put it simply, Lost in La Mancha is a fabulous must-see and we’re quite excited to be showing it to the public this month. In addition to screening this great film, we’ll break out the birthday cake as we celebrate the 3-Year Anniversary of the Lowell Film Collaborative! Please help us mark the moment and allow us to THANK YOU for your support and encouragement these past few years — before our screening of Lost in La Mancha, we’ll all share in some delicious birthday cake!


For years, one of filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s great dreams was to make a screen adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s classic tale Don Quixote, and in 2000 it looked as if his dream was to become a reality. In collaboration with Tony Grisoni, Gilliam had written a script called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, in which a 20th century advertising man accidentally travels back in time and is mistaken by Don Quixote for his faithful companion, Sancho Panza. After ten years of shopping the project to American studios with no success, Gilliam and his producers had secured financing for the film from a consortium of European sources and Johnny Depp had been cast as the time-tripping adman with the venerable French actor Jean Rochefort as Don Quixote. However, as the production moved closer to its start date, more and more things began to go wrong — contracts went unsigned, key cast and crew members had not yet arrived, and the carefully prepared budget seemed stressed to the breaking point. Nevertheless, Gilliam soldiered on, but after a mere six days of shooting, during which Spanish Air Force jets ruined several takes, flash floods destroyed several sets, and Gilliam struggled to keep his dream afloat, Rochefort suffered a severe back injury. The film’s financiers decided to cash in their chips and pulled the plug in order to cash in on their insurance, though Gilliam struggled for months afterward to find a way to put the production back on track.

Documentary filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe had been invited by Gilliam to make a film about the production of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and after shooting 80 hours of footage of the chaotic pre-production process as well as the aborted shooting schedule, they instead created Lost In La Mancha, a look at the UN-making of the film, which along with the story of the project’s brief rise and messy collapse, featured a look at several completed scenes from the film as well as animated versions of the film’s storyboards which offered a glimpse of the look and scale of the film Gilliam was attempting to create.

Amidst all of the chaos of Terry Gilliam’s failed production is an up-close-and-personal look at one of today’s creative forces in film as well as an insider’s look at the Hollywood machine, which Gilliam straddles. We hope you will join us for this FINAL film in our 2011 Film & the Art Series — we’ve had SUCH fun bringing this great series to Lowell and can’t think of a better way to cap it off than with a behind-the-scenes look at The Movies. Please join us on October 18 as we wrap up this film series and pay our sincere thanks to all of you for making the past three years truly special for us.

See you all soon!


Published by Lowell Film Collaborative

The Lowell Film Collaborative is a grassroots initiative in Lowell, MA, whose mission is to bring more cinematic awareness to the community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: