“It was lights, camera, inaction.”
Terry Gilliam: The Impossible Dream
Old stories that stick around do so because they are really good stories. Robin Hood is an old story, it goes back to the 1400s, and we’ve enjoyed Hollywood showing his many adventures. I think I like the Errol Flynn version the best.
The Don Quixote story is old too. “Tilting at windmills” comes from this story. This was written in the early 1600s. It is the story of an old man who reads and reads and reads old tales of chivalry. He even sells some of his land to buy more books. His brain flips and he believes that he is now a knight and goes adventuring to right wrongs.
My personal favorite version of this story is the musical. It is one of those rare shows that work perfectly on the stage as we use our imagination but (at least so far) stinks as a movie. The musical has some great songs and the hit song is Impossible Dream. Once upon a time I had the double album of the Broadway show with full dialogue and it was brilliant!
If you are interested, here is the opera star Placido Domingo singing Impossible Dream. Great tune, it sums up Don Quixote’s dream of being a knight.
Terry Gilliam is a great director. You’ve probably seen his Time Bandits or The Fisher King or Brazil. My personal favorite from him is The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I could and have watched this flick over and over; it has a charm about it that I can not resist.
Now, soon, we’ll be able to see his The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He tried long ago to make this movie and it was a disaster, there is even a documentary on it! Everything that could go wrong happened, flooding, noise, injury. Here is the wiki on Lost in La Mancha.
So now, soon, we’ll finally be able to see what has been going on in Terry Gilliam’s mind for decades. The trailer has been released, let’s take a look:
How exciting! A man who sees things, not how they are, but how they ought to be.