If you were a studio head looking for a director to deliver a film on time and to budget, the last man on earth you’d turn to is Terry Gilliam. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is considered to be one of the biggest flops in the history of cinema. The former ‘Python’ has been trying to bring his passion project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, to the big screen since 1989. He initially started shooting back in 2000 but the production was plagued by bad luck and later abandoned.
In 2002, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe released the brilliant documentary Lost in La Mancha. It charted the American’s disastrous attempts to bring his vision to life. Unperturbed by this disaster, and now with a different cast, Gilliam started shooting again seventeen years later. However, whilst there was a much-reduced budget this time round, it was far more successful. Fulton and Pepe once again document his progress in their new film He Dreams of Giants.
Lost in La Mancha’s success was driven by the abject failure of Gilliam’s production. He Dreams of Giants relies more on piecing together a project which has obsessed him for decades. Whilst there aren’t the same misfortunes of Biblical proportions to entertain and astonish, the sequel instead focuses more on the director. As personal demons, a lack of self-belief and ill health threaten to derail proceedings, He Dreams of Giants tells the bittersweet tale of a man realising his dream.
He Dreams of Giants screens at Raindance Film Festival.