Review: ‘He Dreams of Giants’ – Documentary about Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’

‘A 30-YEAR QUEST TO FILM THE IMPOSSIBLE’

“A moving and heartfelt tribute to a seemingly insurmountable artistic quest, He Dreams of Giants follows visionary icon Terry Gilliam’s final journey to finish his elusive passion-project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.This touching documentary is a potent study of creative obsession. Combining immersive footage of Gilliam’s production with intimate interviews and archival footage from the director’s entire career, He Dreams Of Giants is a revealing character study of an artist, and a meditation on the value of creativity in the face of mortality”

Directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe and produced by Lucy Darwin, the team behind the acclaimed Lost in La Mancha; the 2002 documentary that charted the doomed earlier production of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He Dreams of Giants features legendary artist and director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Twelve Monkeys), and features Adam Driver (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Marriage Story) and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, Brazil).

He Dreams of Giants is very much a follow-up (or final chapter) to Lost In La Mancha following the production of 2018’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote but also manages to go beyond this with flashbacks to the earlier failed production and serving as a career retrospective of Gilliam; exploring his psyche and his obsession with bringing this story to life after thirty years. Due to their existing relationship with Gilliam the film-makers are granted unprecedented access to the films planning and production; and although not as troubled as the original production it is still not a smooth road for Gilliam and crew. This documentary and it’s predecessor should dispel any myths of film-making being a glamorous or charmed career as we see Gilliam in the ultimate example of a visionary artists struggle.

Whilst Lost In La Mancha relied mostly on ‘fly-on-the-wall; footage film during the production – the film-makers here have added abstract-style retrospective interviews and interstitials with Gilliam reflecting on the films production as well as his life, career and an artists struggle with his creations through all stages of the process. These additions are really fascinating and expand this film far beyond a simple ‘making of’. The only part of the story which the film doesn’t really cover in-depth is Gilliam’s struggles to regain his rights to the film and the struggles of being able to screen the film at its’ Cannes film festival premiere.

4/5

Blue Finch Film Releasing presents He Dreams of Giants on digital platforms including Google Play & iTunes Store on 29 March 2021


Review: The Ghost of Peter Sellers documentary (2018)

New documentary ‘The Complete History of Candyman’ coming later this year.

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