Friday, September 10, 2010


It's of course fitting that Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Cervantes' masterpiece, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, is a rolling disaster. It was immortalized in the documentary Lost in La Mancha -- essential viewing for anyone who has produced a play or film -- but beware, it's our version of a horror film. It looks like we might need a sequel:
Terry Gilliam has said his latest attempt to make a film about Don Quixote has stalled after his financial backers pulled out.

The director told Variety magazine that financing for his take on the Spanish knight-errant "collapsed about a month and a half ago".

His film, in the making for more than a decade, has been beset by problems.
By the time the book closes on Gilliam's career, it will stand as a parable for the many hazards of film making: loss of creative control (Brazil), tragic acts of God (Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus), and the pitfalls of chasing one's obsession (Don Quixote).

The danger of producing a work that obsesses you is that, if you're honest, you don't really know -- you can't know -- if your end product is any good. Obsession necessarily shuts out actual perception: you have an idea of what the final product is already going to be like (otherwise why would you be obsessed?). When you a chase an idea that passionately, you condemn yourself to never actually consummating the project, since you'll be chasing just the idea of it all your days.

It feels like this, right, TG?

This is not the finger-wagging of a pedant, but the lament of a fellow-sufferer. But good luck, fellow obsessives, everywhere.

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