My dinner with andre is a 1981 american comedy-drama film directed by louis malle, and written by and starring andre gregory (andre) and wallace shawn (wally) the actors play fictionalized versions of themselves sharing a conversation at café des artistes in manhattan.
A piece taken from the film my dinner with andre. Andre is a former actor and director who has left the theatre entirely wally and andre meet for dinner, and andre recounts his experiences since leaving the theatre but one of the ironies is that their dinner itself is theatre, and both andre and wally have roles to fill.
Both primal and sophisticated, witty and profound, my dinner with andre is a film that can be savored over time, offering new revelations with each viewing as the listener-viewer develops his or her own appreciation of life's great mysteries. In my dinner with andre (1981), directed by louis malle, two new york intellectuals (real life stage director andré gregory and actor wallace shawn, who together wrote the unscripted-sounding script) have a reunion in a chic restaurant and, over a fine and many-coursed meal, talk about their lives.
What “my dinner with andre” exploits is the well-known ability of the mind to picture a story as it is being told both shawn and gregory are born storytellers, and as they talk we see their faces, but we picture much more: andre being buried alive, and a monk lifting himself by his fingertips, and fauns cavorting in a forest.
Overall, my dinner with andre is an admirable idea - i'd love to see more films so simply built, just two people talking about philosophy - but andre's dominance of the conversation is just as. My dinner with andre is at the top of that list, having become not just a cherished favorite, but a special touchstone for me, a reminder of what civilized life is supposed to be -- and it's all the more vital in these crass, anti-intellectual times.
The dinner conversation ends with wally challenging some of the methods and purpose of andre's pursuits he is confused, angry, and feels andre has wasted years of his life wally is a pragmatic rationalist, to assign a label to him. My dinner with andre strikes me as a film which many wish to have seen, but few wish to see though i understand full well that, like philosophy itself, the film is meant for selective audiences, and though i love philosophy, i simply could not bring myself to become engaged in the film.