Lost in La Mancha

Last night we went to see Lost in La Mancha at the Enzian Theater. Now, in spite of my outwardly hip appearance (shut up), I’m pretty much a basic, American suburbanite. We go to the mall for our movie watchin’. We don’t do alternative cinema. But the Enzian is practically across the street from where I work. I pass it at lunch time almost every day. So, it’s been calling me to give it a try ever since we moved down here in 1994. We keep meaning to go to the Florida Film Festival, but it just hasn’t happened.

Finally, the trigger came in the form of Terry Gilliam. Even if he weren’t one of the comic geniuses behind Monty Python, I love the movies he’s directed since then: Time Bandits, Brazil, Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, and Twelve Monkeys. (I still haven’t seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I’ll get to it eventually.) So, when the Enzian booked Lost in La Mancha – the documentary based on his disastrous attempt to film a version of Don Quixote – and when my ultra cool son said, “We have to see this movie,” we decided it was time to venture into the land outside the multiplex.

Will Rogers said, “Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.” Never is that more true than with watching this documentary. It chronicles the ill-fated Quixote production from mishap to mishap. As one of the crew put it, “You couldn’t have scripted more disasters than this movie had. Nobody would believe it.” Everything from booking a god-awful sound stage (the last one in Madrid) to having the opening days’ shooting take place near an active NATO base with jets constantly flying overhead to a flash flood washing away the equipment to – finally – the incapacity of the film’s star doomed this picture. It was like watching a train wreck. Yet, through it all, Gilliam keeps pressing on, finally admitting defeat when the Assistant Director quits and the insurance company takes possession of the production.

It’s too bad really. From the brief snippets that were completed, it looked like this would have been another Gilliam classic. You can see some of it in the trailer for Lost in La Mancha.

As for the Enzian… At the risk of sounding like an even bigger rube than usual, why didn’t someone tell me you could go to a movie theater that serves Guinness?! I’m in Heaven!

Now that the kids are old enough to enjoy it, this is our new cool thing to do. We’ll still have to go to AMC to get our X-matrixhulkinator fix. But from now on, when we say dinner and a movie, we’ll be dining at the theater.

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8 Responses to Lost in La Mancha

  1. Jason D- says:

    Terry Gilliam os a god.

  2. Ric The Schmuck says:

    A place you can get a beer while watching a movie? OK, now you’re onto something… Maybe there is something to this Florida thing after all…

  3. Solonor says:

    Not just beer… Food and beer at a table with comfy chairs and no blocked views of the screen.

  4. Scott says:

    We had those types of theaters when I lived up in Hartford. Unfortunately, they showed second-run films, so it wasn’t always Lost in La Mancha (envy, envy, envy).

    What little I’ve seen of the film is unbelievable — the Spanish Air Force bombing nearby was the clincher, for me.

    Gilliam needs a partner — someone to handle the business side of things, like Glazer does for Ron Howard. This would free him up to make MORE movies.

  5. Not So Red Menace says:

    YOU didn’t know you could eat and DRINK at the Enzian??!! I am truly disappointed. I’m so glad you’re finally enlightened!

    The Enzian is where I first saw MST3K.

  6. Bitter Kat says:

    Eep. We were in the same place at the same time (assuming you were at the 9:30 show) and we our paths didn’t even cross. What a cruel and unusual world.

  7. Solonor says:

    Egad! Too bizarre!!

    You must have seen us, though. We were the only people with kids there (though the kids aren’t exactly kid-like).

  8. i’m in agreement with Jason D.

    re: Fear and Loathing… v. weird unsettling flick. Satan wouldn’t watch the rest of it, but i did. it’s a few shades deeper than 12 Monkeys in the bizarre department.

    i must see Lost in La Mancha now.

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