71- My Dinner with Andre [9.5]
Gregory, a theater director from New York, is the more talkative of the pair. He relates to Shawn his tales of dropping out, traveling around the world, and experiencing the variety of ways people live, such as a monk who could balance his entire weight on his fingertips. Shawn listens avidly, but questions the value of Gregory’s seeming abandonment of the pragmatic aspects of life.
My Dinner with Andre reminds me a lot of Waking Life, one of my favorite movies. Both include an extensive amount of analytical discussion about different facets of life. Both are hard films to recommend to most, Andre perhaps moreso (Waking Life benefits from rotoscoping based on live action in a variety of locations whereas Andre simply cuts back and forth between two characters in one setting). I have heard many complaints of people being bored with Waking Life, and I can see the same thing happening here.
I was endlessly enthralled with My Dinner with Andre. In fact, I wish it didn’t end. Initially I spent a good portion of the movie just trying to figure out which side of sanity Andre was sitting on. I then considered the thin line between brilliance and madness and, with that in mind, came to a better understanding of what the film was touching on as a whole. To delve deeply into the nature of being a person in society can lead to great discovery that may not in turn be true to the experience as a whole. You find yourself rationalizing grand truths that don’t actually correlate to all the frustrating and paradoxical experiences you go through, but rather, explain them in a vacuum.
And there I go rambling. After watching those two men have dinner and discuss life, I feel like I may just ramble on a little more often now.