Sunday!

Well. It’s out. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is (finally) out.

Lost in La Mancha was an absolutely brilliant documentary made in 2002 (!) about the various production problems that Terry Gilliam had been having making his dream movie (starring Johnny Depp! And Jean Rochefort! And some F-16s! And a flash flood!). Originally intended to be a little “the making of” featurette, it, instead, documented the slow-motion collapse of the movie.

I had always assumed that it’d be a noble “what if?” forever. A movie that you daydreamed about existing in the DVD section of Lucius’s library in The Sandman comic books.

Well, Gilliam refused to let it die. I remember that Robert Duvall was Don Quixote for 20 minutes there a few years back, then John Hurt. Right around the death of John Hurt, I let myself think “I never have to think about that particular what if ever again” and Terry Gilliam was reshuffled into being the guy who made my favorite movie and I found myself wondering if he’d ever make another (and, after Tideland, I thought “mmmmm maybe I’m officially too square for Gilliam now”).

Anyway, I haven’t seen The Man Who Killed Don Quixote yet. (Is it even out in the US yet? Apparently, it’s only been seen at film festivals?)

But now I’m wondering whether it could possibly be the movie that I daydreamed about seeing. The movie that seemed so wonderful in the snippets of the making of documentary. The movie that could have been.

Now it merely is the movie that is. (After, apparently, eight different attempts to make it.)

Last year, he gave an interview to the BBC and said this:

He also has doubts as to whether his film can possibly live up to the extraordinary mythology which has grown around it. “The problem is that people have very high expectations,” he says. “And a lot of people say I’m a fool to make the film, and that it would have been better to let people imagine how great it would have been, rather than making it a reality and disappointing them. People love Roman ruins because they’re not complete and you can imagine them. So I may be making a great mistake. Maybe the film would be better as a fantasy.”

So what keeps him going? “It’s a medical problem. It’s not a film, it’s a tumour, and I have to have it removed. I want it out of my life, frankly.”

Oh my goodness. That’s not a good indicator. Remember Duke Nukem Forever? Or, if more of an audiophile, Guns and Roses’s Chinese Democracy?

I worry that we’ll have one of those.

But I’ll see it. It’ll take wild horses to keep me from seeing it.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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9 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. Binge-read the new Honor Harrington book. Main comment should be redacted for spoilers, but we seem to have lost that capability somewhere along the line:

    I’m still wondering if Weber has health issues that aren’t publicly known. Last year he abruptly picked up the pace and wound up the Safehold series in one book. More accurately, half a book. This Harrington book picks up the pace and winds up the Harrington and Solarian League story lines. The Mesan Alignment line is pretty explicitly shoved into the Eric Flint/Crown of Slaves sub-series. If this is right, the next abrupt finish would be the War God’s Own fantasy series. Or maybe he just got tired of them; the Harrington series started 26 years ago, after all. Heck, that’s a career.

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    • Last year he abruptly picked up the pace and wound up the Safehold series in one book

      I noticed he has a new Safehold book out next year. I only glanced at it on Amazon, but my vague recollection of the blurb made me think if there’s a time skip, it was small — a generation or two, if any at all.

      I want to say he wrapped up the Safehold storyline the way he did for a handful of reasons — one, he made the other side too evil and two he’d settled up for a really long infantry slog of a meat-grinder that was going to end up fairly boring unless he brought in tanks and airplanes. Between the religious setup he built meaning the Orthodox Church couldn’t really sustain that level of evil without losing too many of it’s adherents, and the religious setup making tanks and airplanes too much of a stretch too soon, I think he took the out.

      It let him stop pushing the tech ridiculously, too.

      But yeah, I remember reading that and it was “And abruptly, using a Checkov’s Gun from Book 2 that was like..four sentences..the war was over and a status quo established. WTF?”

      I’m shocked he was able to wind up the Solarian storyline (I haven’t read it), because while the particular situation indicated a massive curb-stomp setup, it had been pretty heavily foreshadowed that the only way to really win long-term was to break apart the Solarian League or whatever it was call. OTOH, there’d also been (mostly from Flint) quite a bit showing that Mesa had been planning that fracturing for a long time — and quite a bit of the League was, outside of those plans, ready to jump ship.

      I guess I’d have to read it to see if Weber pulled it off as anything but an ass-pull, but I could see the Solarian League coming apart like shattered glass in just a few blows it if was hit hard enough, and in the right spots. And at least two major groups were doing exactly that.

      I knew he was pushing the Mesan story to Flint, and that he really wanted to retire Harrington and jump ahead a generation. (She was supposed to die in the big Haven/Manticore battle, Nelson-style). I thought he’d resigned himself to relegating her to high command and moving the story line to others, even though his original plan was to jump to her kids a generation later.

      If he had health issues, you’d think he’d be moving to ghostwriters — which doesn’t appear to be the case.

      Maybe he’s just got Martinitis — the creeping feeling that maybe you should finish a storyline, once in awhile, lest you end up a man who has clearly lost the plot.

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  2. I saw Ant-Man and the Wasp on Friday night. The critics are right. It is a light and frothy daydream of a movie and it wins by basically staying that way.

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  3. Heh, I was wondering if you were thinking of Chinese Democracy, or maybe Jodorowsky’s Dune.

    I am reading… nothing special. I am wrapping up my current workpiece (it just went to the printers and I get the pre-print tomorrow) and have a rather important doc visit tomorrow AM. So, just light stuff for me, Poul Andersons Harvest of Stars.

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