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The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Terry Gilliam
Spain, Belgium, France, Portugal, UK 2018 / 132’
The Insult The Wild Pear Tree

One of the most-anticipated films in the history of cinema is finally here. When Terry Gilliam (the subject of a New Horizon retrospective in 2011) started working on a film about Don Quixote 25 years ago, he probably didn't imagine that he would also end up like one the film's errant knights. His quarter century of tilting against windmills (unreliable producers, floods, illnesses, constant problems with the budget) reached a happy end in 2018. The roles of the arrogant filmmaker slamming advertisements, the country cobbler and fantasist and the producer's beautiful wife are played by Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce and Olga Kurylenko, respectively. This is the story of an arrogant director who is sent to a film set in Spain. As a result of an astonishing turn of events, he ends up in a small village where one of the residents believes he is Don Quixote. The two men are brought together in a series of crazy adventures that allows one of them to re-evaluate his life and the other to realize his seemingly unrealistic dreams. Terry Gilliam would surely agree with Don Quixote about one thing: A soldier in battle looks better than a free man running away.

Małgorzata Sadowska

Terry Gilliam

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 22, 1940, Gilliam was briefly employed by Mad Magazine as a writer/illustrator before he emigrated to England in 1967. Soon after he arrived in the U.K., he began working on Do Not Adjust Your Set, a popular children's TV show, developing his eccentric animated cartoons, which put into motion a hodgepodge of images, including photographs, cutouts from magazines, and famous works of art. In 1969, Gilliam was asked to join the absurdist comedy troupe Monty Python. He began offering his iconoclastic vision to moviegoers with the comedy troupe's first original film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), which he co-directed with fellow Python Terry Jones. Gilliam had his first outing as a solo director with Jabberwocky (1976). Gilliam's status as auteur has been assured by his strikingly idiosyncratic style, recurrent themes, and insistence on control of all stages of filmmaking. An open hostility towards the studio system has complemented his criticism of mainstream American culture, pragmatically sealed by a thirty-five-year residence in Britain. While he has had to turn to his native country to finance his most recent films, he has continued to denounce Hollywood as an accessory to the 'lie' lived by American society; accordingly, he has declined the direction of many a US box-office hit.

Selected filmography

1975 Monty Python i Święty Graal / Monty Python and the Holy Grail (co-dir.)

1977 Jabberwocky

1981 Bandyci czasu / Time Bandits

1983 Karmazynowe Ubezpieczenie Ostateczne / The Crimson Permanent Assurance (short)

1985 Brazil

1988 Przygody Barona Munchausena / The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

1991 Fisher King / The Fisher King

1995 12 małp / Twelve Monkeys

1998 Las Vegas Parano / Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

2005 Nieustraszeni bracia Grimm / The Brothers Grimm

2005 Kraina traw / Tideland

2009 Parnassus – człowiek, który oszukał diabła / The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

2013 Teoria wszystkiego / The Zero Theorem

Cast & Crew

director Terry Gilliam
screenplay Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni (based on a novel by Miguel de Cervantes)
cinematography Nicola Pecorini
editing Teresa Font, Lesley Walker
music Roque Baños
cast Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgård, Joana Ribeiro
producer Mariela Besuievsky, Gerardo Herrero, Amy Gilliam, Grégoire Melin, Sébastien Delloye
production Alacran Pictures, Tornasol Films, Entre Chien et Loup, Ukbar Filmes, El Hombre Que Mato A Don Quijote AIE, Carisco Producciones AIE
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language English, Spanish
colouration colour