The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Country: United States
Run Time: 110 minutes
Cavorting in a Polish forest with 40 non-English speaking members of a theatrical group; staging a mock burial on Richard Avedon's Montauk estate; exploring Tibet, India, and a strange commune in Scotland; and eating sand on the Sahara with a Buddhist priest are adventures that really occurred in the life of theater director Andre Gregory. He eloquently describes his personal odyssey of self-discovery to playwright/actor Wallace Shawn as they dine on quail in a fashionable Manhattan restaurant. Wally, the ever ready pragmatist, listens and responds "Wow!" or some such monosyllable, when he isn't arguing that it is just as conceivable to "perceive reality" in a cigar store as it is atop Mount Everest. Director Louis Malle (1980's "Atlantic City") brilliantly succeeds in presenting not only "the constantly shifting landscapes of the human face," but a new examination of friendship. Andre and Wally are complete contrasts, physically and spiritually, inside the distorted characterizations of their real selves. You may love or hate both, or one, or the other, but it's impossible to be indifferent to either. The skills of Malle, Gregory and Shawn could make "pass the salt" sound like devastating wit or profound truth, as they choose.
"Somehow it manages to express the entire human dilemma. . ." - Marie Brenner, New York
"MY DINNER WITH ANDRE: brilliant feast of lifelike sitting up late at night seriously, passionately discussing life with a wise, human, vulnerable and beloved friend." -Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory
George W. George and Beverly Karp
Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, Jean Lenauer, Roy Butler