Dir. Louis Malle
1981, United States, 111 min
Join us for our new series, Staff Picks, where our Winnipeg Film Group and Cinematheque staff will select and introduce new and old favourites. This month’s selection was chosen by Technical and Equipment Manager Dylan Baillie.
In this captivating and philosophical film directed by Louis Malle, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with his friend the theater director André Gregory at a restaurant on New York’s Upper West Side, and the pair proceed through an alternately whimsical and despairing confessional about love, death, money, and all the superstition in between. Playing variations on their own New York–honed personas, Shawn and Gregory, who also cowrote the screenplay, dive in with introspective intellectual gusto, and Malle captures it all with a delicate, artful detachment. A fascinating freeze-frame of cosmopolitan culture, My Dinner with André remains a unique work in cinema history.
Generously sponsored by IATSE 856 Manitoba.
A completely merited cult favourite of the avant-garde genre. This is surprisingly compelling in places.
– David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
When André and Wally wax poetic, time is suspended to allow the expedient passage of diverse ideas. Some melt like organic sugar on the tongue, and others are so formidable and foreboding we must approach them cautiously with a knife and fork, ingesting them piecemeal. The fact that people don’t talk like this in real life isn’t a flaw in the film: It’s a tragic social deficiency.
– Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine