My Dinner with Andre is a passionate, volatile, and humorous encounter between two friends who have not seen each other for a long time, and decide to catch up on each others’ lives over dinner. Andre Gregory is an intense, highly experimental theater director and playwright in search of life’s meanings and spiritual revelations. His friend, Wally Shawn, is an actor and playwright living in New York who is more preoccupied with the search for his next meal. As Andre recounts his global journeys involving esoteric theatrical experiments and mystical adventures, Wally listens with more than skepticism, as his attitudes shift among wonder, puzzlement, admiration, and anger. What finally emerges is a sensitive portrait of a friendship that survives and transcends contrasting assumptions about love, death, art, and man’s continuing quest for self-fulfillment.
Louis Malle (born October 30, 1932, Thumeries, France—died November 23, 1995, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.) French motion-picture director whose eclectic films were noted for their emotional realism and stylistic simplicity.
Malle’s wealthy family resisted his early interest in film but allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris in 1950. After studying at the institute, he worked as an assistant to filmmaker Robert Bresson and codirected the documentary Le Monde du silence (1956; The Silent World) with underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Malle’s first feature film, Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (1957; Frantic), was a psychological thriller. His second, Les Amants (1958; The Lovers), was a commercial success and established Malle and its star, Jeanne Moreau, in the film industry. The film’s lyrical love scenes, tracked with exquisite timing, exhibit Malle’s typically bold and uninhibited treatment of sensual themes. Social alienation… read more
"Two hours of dinner conversation about a variety of subjects." Yes it's a simple premise but utterly captivating and entertaining (in an almost radio-drama way where you imagine the stories they tell) that you just have to take it in and leave just like Wallie, thinking about life with a different perspective.
A film which ostensibly hinges on the strength of its writing, as a predominantly dialectic work, yet which also delivers personality in its on-screen presences to complement it, and showcases a director of chameleonic awareness, regardless of culture, continent or conventions. For this dinner with such a raconteur as Andre not only provides a snapshot of a particular time and setting, of a society and its state, but, through its cutting observations, artistic provocation, that dynamically makes its way to the very nature of human existence.
Every bit as insightful 30 years later. More than ever, we definitely need a new language, the "language of the heart". Malle, Moretti, Antonioni and so many more said it and "the house man lives in", like Godard called it, is in fast decay every day that goes by. "My Dinner with Andre" is an ode to language and human thought and the sort of film that (sadly) fooled me into thinking that it would be as easy to encounter people interested in having these dinners, these conversations. In the end, this eternal discontentement with real life is what makes cinema so great. Like Truffaut asked himself, "Is cinema more important than life?".
No other film has the magnitude or expressed the pure gift of human existentialism than My Dinner with Andre (1981), written by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, who practically play themselves in the… read review