Tag Archives: Wallace Shawn

My Dinner with Andre By Louis Malle

The film depicts a conversation of two acquaintances in a chic restaurant in New York City. Based mostly on conversation, the film’s dialog covers such things asexperimental theatre, the nature of theatre, and the nature of life. The dialogue contrasts Shawn’s modest, down-to-earth humanism with Gregory’s extravagant New Agefantasies.

Gregory is the focus of the first hour of the film as he describes some of his experiences since he gave up his career as a theatre director in 1975. These include working with his friend Jerzy Grotowski and a group of Polish actors in a forest in Poland, his visit to Findhorn in Scotland and his trip to the Sahara to try and create a play based on The Little Prince. Perhaps Gregory’s most dramatic experience was working with a small group of people on piece of performance art on Long Island which resulted in Gregory being (briefly) buried on Halloween night.

The rest of the film is a conversation as Shawn tries to argue that living life as Gregory has done for the past five years is simply not possible for the vast majority of people. In response, Gregory suggests that what passes for normal life in New York in the late 1970s is more akin to living in a dream than it is to real life. The movie ends without a clear resolution to the conflict in worldviews articulated by the two men.

Atlantic City by Louis Malle