January 24, 2009

"Everybody can't be taken to Everest."

Just my favorite part of my favorite movie, "My Dinner With Andre":



***

If you go way deep into the reviews of the movie at that Amazon link, above, you will find one written on August 16, 1999 by "a customer," which 125 of 129 people found "helpful." Let it be known that that "customer" is me. I wrote:
This is my favorite movie of all time. Period. You can sit in on the most interesting conversation ever and I've done it many times, every time finding myself thinking of different things, contemplating my own life and wondering about how crazy Andre actually is and how seriously to take his ideas about how human life came to an end a few decades ago, leaving us all robots in search of some twinge of real feeling. But the dvd is so bad I suspected it was a bootleg. When the camera switches from Andre to Wally the color completely changes. It's all grainy as if recorded on bad tape off a badly receiving tv. At one point a little white hair appears and vacillates on the lower screen for oh about 30 minutes. Are they kidding? There needs to be a new edition of this great movie, and those of us who bought this sham of a version should be allowed to trade it in. Here is a film critiquing the falseness of what our modern life has become: fine, but I don't need an object lesson costing me $20. Out of respect for the sublime Louis Malle, put out a new version!

37 comments:

blake said...

Mark will insist that the movie delivers the wrong message because neither André nor Wally get food poisoning.

I do love this film even though, as I watch the clip, I'm struck by yet more Boomer conceit. The '60s were what?

Ann Althouse said...

@blake yes, but that's Andre. You don't accept anything Andre says at face value.

vbspurs said...

One.Of.My.Favourite.Movies.Ever.

But man, am I movie-talk pooped out tonight. More later. :)

Screenplay

The Crack Emcee said...

Jesus, what crap! I'm leaving California, right now, to leave behind what's left of that feeling of the '60s this guy is harping on about; and yea, I, too, feel like a Jew leaving Germany. (I actually thought that today: it's the reason I'm commenting.) I agree with Wallace Shawn: life isn't something you have to escape to find but, at this point, what you're allowed to have if these NewAgers would just shut up about the need to find it, or themselves, or anything. They're the ones with the problem: worshipping the seed of a pine tree when we're discovering life on Mars. The problem of the 60s is the same one that plagues us today:

A lack of imagination.

Ann Althouse said...

Screenplay here too:

http://www.cloudnet.com/~jwinder/dinner.htm

Peter Stevens said...

Do you like My Dinner With
Andre as a parody?

Where do you rank Casablanca
amongst your favorite movies?

blake said...

@annalthouse--I'll have to rewatch. My recall of it is being surprised I could enjoy a movie like that. (Twice!)

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - I'm not saying I don't like the film (I do) but that attitude just makes me gag and/or laugh so I shoot my soda out my nose.

Right now, it's gag.

peter hoh said...

They still haven't re-released this on DVD? What the hell is wrong with these people?

Twice, I took a date to see this movie. The second young woman liked it.

We've been married 21 years.

Ann Althouse said...

"Twice, I took a date to see this movie. The second young woman liked it."

Yeah, I think it makes a good test.

I was having a great conversation with someone in a restaurant one time, and at some point, I noticed all the other customers were gone. I said, it was like the end of "My Dinner With Andre." Answer: "Ugh! I hate that movie!" Sad!!!!

jdeeripper said...

I refer My Breakfast with Blassie.

Or Gilbert Gottfried talking to himself.

mydismalswamp said...

I've had that conversation before. I couldn't really watch till the end, because I know how mine ended...

m00se said...

"OMG - soylent green is people!"

I so loved this movie. However that's because it takes me right back to growing up in Ann Arbor. Tremedously inconsequential conversations held in restaurants over chinese food. We were too poor to eat in the restaurant in the movie.

Still a great movie - a foreshadowing of the hysteria of the Reagan era ("Raygun").

Now, even today you can see all the parallels, all the false revelations of the intelligensia.

Thanks Ann! Makes me want to go out and find a copy of "Liquid Sky" and spray some white rain around the house...

Freeman Hunt said...

I can't believe that I still have not seen this. Strange too because it's the sort of movie I would have seen.

Christy said...

Never saw the movie, but I think it incredibly funny, and illustrates the clip, that to you Wallace Shawn is half of a conversation that continues to fascinate, and to me is The Grand Magus, a money grubbing Ferengi autocrat (and comic relief) from the Star Trek universe.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

I wanted to like My Dinner with Andre, but I didn't. I found Andre insipid. In the end, I ended up turning it off about ten minutes before the end.

I did, however, LOVE the television show "Dinner for Five", which followed a somewhat similar concept.

jdeeripper said...

I can't find "My Dinner with Andre" online but here is the movie "Crumb".

It's sick and weird but I found it totally captivating.

Robert Crumb is a lot like Andre Gregory but without the... ah, the..what the French call...OK, Robert Crumb is nothing like Andre Gregory.

The movie is not just about Crumb's weird art work but about the incredibly disturbed family he came from.

J Riordan said...

Everyone can't be taken to Everest...

...but everyone CAN smoke some POT!!!

;-)

The Crack Emcee said...

Crumb is the bomb-dizzle. I'm also partial to One Day In September (a look back at the terrorist attack during the 1972 Olympics) and Grizzly Man, a movie about an immature NewAge freak with an extremely dangerous nature fetish.

I like documentaries, period, as long as they're not in that Michael Moore skew-the-truth vein. Hell, I ate up every movie I could see before The Blair Witch Project, but after that, it was all downhill.

Anybody seen SSongs From The Second Floor?

Freeman Hunt said...

I saw Monster in a Box when I was a teenager, and I remember liking it, but again, I do not at all trust my teenage taste, so who knows if it's really any good...

xanadunot said...

I think my favorite Dinner with Andre reference was on the Simpsons when Martin Prince was playing the "Dinner with Andre" video game at an arcade.

The game allowed for 3 options
1. Trenchant insight
2. Bon mot
3. Tell me more

Fantastic!

blake said...

xanadunot--as I recall they fought over who got to be (had to be?) Wallace Shawn.

Freem--I don't think I've seen all of "Monster in a Box", but what I've seen of it, I wouldn't be embarrassed to like it.

peter hoh said...

I was delighted to hear Wallace Shawn's voice in Toy Story. What a hoot!

Revenant said...

I'm also partial to One Day In September

If you ever needed proof that Roger Ebert was a nitwit, compare his reviews of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "One Day in September".

In the former case, he explained that it was ok for the movie to be totally one-sided against Bush, because documentaries are supposed to have a point of view.

In the latter case, he complained that the movie was biased against the terrorists.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Monster In A Box" was great. All those Spaulding Gray movies were good. A real hoot.

Poor thing killed himself.

Lem said...

A lack of imagination.

The death of Imagination

Lem said...

If you like My Dinner with Andre you might enjoy Mindwalk

Lem said...

Mindwalk is not available on Netflix btw.

Lem said...

I'm sorry I missed this conversation last night.

traditionalguy said...

Can you order this on Netflix? The Amazon webpage you link to suggested that if you liked My Dinner with Andre, then you should also like Babette's Feast. So, i'll like it. How's that for my sophisticated movie reviewing method? I really would like to hear Crack Emcee's reaction to Babette's Feast. It's in Danish with English subtitles, and yet it tells a most prescious story to us Traditional types.

The Crack Emcee said...

I saw it a long time ago (I used to watch a lot of movies) and think it's brilliant.

I figure you're wondering about my reaction because I'm an atheist, or because of my rejection of NewAge "spirituality," but it's not like that: I was born an atheist - it's not a pose acquired in college to reject religion - and I have some pretty "spiritual" friends. (One of my best friends is a wonderful guy who is positive - positive - we're the decendents of aliens, and my current roommate is a devout Jewish tough guy with a thing for interpreting dreams,...) What I hate, and that is the word for it, is fundamentalists who are determined to push their nonsense on me - that's why I've opted for the fundamentalist strategy of pushing back: it's all they understand - and what's needed because (as I learned the hard way) trying to be cool with them doesn't work. And NewAgers, especially, because they have A) no specific set of beliefs or values B) a tendency to adopt Nazi beliefs, and C) aren't watched by anyone with any rigor - the way people watch Catholic priests or Evangelicals - so they can behave the worst, like killing people and getting away with it, then blocking it out or giggling.

Anyway, movies have been this black guy's refuge, and window to many worlds, for a long, long time. I love 'em. And Babette's Feast has been a big part of that. It's a wonderful story, beautifully told.

Ever seen Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring? Those two will tell you more about France - the real France, not just Paris - than almost any French films I've ever seen. How evil can come from thinking a certain way, and dreams can be destroyed through love. The French have a lot to learn, man. If ever there was a country that could use a large dose of conservatism it's that one,...but still, the last time they got something like it, "the streets ran red with blood."

I think they're crazy, actually, after living there for a while.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks for your honestly expressed views,Crack. They help a lot.

peter hoh said...

For that which I am about to link, please forgive me.

Ann Althouse said...

Peter! That was great! I loved it!

Ann Althouse said...

Peter! That was great! I loved it!

blake said...

Ah. Bunnies. Is there anything they can't do?