January 22, 2004

Writing about surrealism and coincidence makes me want to say something about my favorite movie, "My Dinner With Andre." Googling in search of the screenplay--hey, nice tribute to Year of the Monkey, Google--I ran across Lane's Shrine to "My Dinner With Andre." I approve of the idea, but, jeez, Lane, that background! That nearly set off a migrane.

I can't find a screenplay to link to. But there's a memorable discussion of Andre Gregory's collection of the surrealist journal Minotaur, made 40 years earlier, which he had opened to a page with the handprints of three surrealists named Andre. Wallace Shawn cannot accept Andre's belief that the journal was somehow made for him.

If you've never seen this film you should, even though you might hate it. I bought the DVD, but it is absolutely the lowest quality DVD. It really shouldn't be sold in this form. Somewhere in those 59 Amazon customer reviews is one from me ("from Madison, Wisconsin") complaining about this. If you've ever felt annoyed that a movie you care about hasn't been released on DVD, remember that it is much worse when they do this, because there seems to be little hope of getting something better later. It does have scene access, but with only nine scenes. The chapter titles--"soup," "soup finished," "entree," "dinner conversation continues," "entree ends"--are almost good for a laugh, a bitter scoff, perhaps.

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