June 28, 2009

"My Dinner with Andre," my favorite movie, is now available as a Criterion Collection DVD.

This is a huge event for me. I've been struggling with a crappy Fox Lorber DVD for years, and I know that even that was hard to get.

Come on everybody, get the DVD. Buy if from my link there, and you'll be making a contribution to this blog (without paying any more).



Watch it, and come back here and talk about it — all night, until everybody else has left the restaurant!

23 comments:

Lem said...

Dinner with Andre reminded me of this Waking Life (2001) existentialism clip.

The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity is that I think it has something very important to offer us... I'm afraid were losing the real virtues of living life passionately in the sense of taking responsibility for who you are the ability to make something of yourself and feel good about life. Existentialism is often discussed as if it were a philosophy of despair, but I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre, once interviewed, said he never felt once minute of despair in his life. One thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as a real kind of exuberance, of feeling on top of it, its like your life is yours to create. Ive read the post modernists with some interest, even admiration, but when I read them I always have this awful nagging feeling that something absolutely essential is getting left out. The more you talk about a person as a social construction or as a confluence of forces or as being fragmented of marginalised, what you do is you open up a whole new world of excuses. And when sartre talks about responsibilty, he's not talking about something abstract. He's not taling about the kind of self or souls that theologians would talk about. Hes talking about you and me talking, making descisions, doing things, and taking the consequences. It might be true that there are six billion people in this world, and counting, but nevertheless -what you do makes a difference. It makes a difference, first of all, in material terms, to other people, and it sets an example. In short, I think the message here is that we shouuld never write ourselves off or see eachother as a victim of various forces. It's always our descision who we are.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

ALRIGHT already! You've been talking about it for years...so I'll buy it (but not until Tuesday when I get paid).

Fred4Pres said...

I can't wait to go back home and tell my wife about Althouse's post on My Dinner with Andre

The Crack Emcee said...

"In short, I think the message here is that we shouuld never write ourselves off or see each other as a victim of various forces. It's always our descision who we are."

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit - and Sartre was a liar.

I was raised in foster homes. Was I in control of that or was I "a victim of various forces"? I'm all for taking responsibility and all but I'm also aware that what people do greatly influences others lives. I've seen people killed before my eyes, struck lame, and driven mad - all the while, others are spouting this malarky like it's deep, when, mostly, what it does is let them off the hook for not doing anything against wrong when they had the chance.

As my best friend and I said to his son the other night: We are only going to set boundaries - you've got to learn to make good choices on your own.

AllenS said...

Why are we still talking about these nonentity people? Don't you know that Billy Mays, the burly, bearded television pitchman whose boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean made him a pop-culture icon, has died?

matthew said...

Now if only the "My Dinner with Andre" Action Figures from "Waiting for Guffman" became commercially available, that'd be the day.

John Burgess said...

So, Althouse is mysteriously asking for the bulk of her readership to commit suicide by ennui? How very strange...

The recent spate of deaths, capped by Billy Mays' may have temporarily unhinged her.

Or, she may really ,really like boring French film.

Ann Althouse said...

Malle is French, but this is scarcely a French film.

howzerdo said...

Over the years, you have recommended a few movies that I got from netflix and really enjoyed. Tell you what, assuming this new DVD means that the movie will now be available from netflix, I'll watch it. If I like it, I'll order if from amazon through your link to thank you for those great movie recommendations. (I don't buy a lot of DVDs.)

Jana said...

Hmm, but I was saving up my pennies for the Criterion release in August of "The Last Days of Disco."

I do so love Whit Stillman.

Bob_R said...

So is the quality up to Criterion standards? More expensive than typical bluray releases. As I remember, I liked the movie, but it's not in my top 50. I gather there are people who take more than five minutes to be repulsed by Andre, and that the viewer's changing reaction to Andre over the course of the movie is a big part of the attraction. That didn't work for me at all. The development of the Shawn character was more interesting. (Again, I'm going from deep memory here.)

EDH said...

Hey, if it aint listed on MrSkin.com, fagettaboutit.

veni vidi vici said...

Speaking of the last days of disco, I watched a documentary entitled "Gay Sex in the 70's" last night. It was really amazing. What an unbelievable time for everyone, but wow on teh gayz, who were going for broke in the back of meat trucks, on an abandoned pier in NYC, and just about anywhere around Christopher St. back then. 10 years later and everyone started getting the new disease, and the party came to a sad end.

While talking about Studio 54 and the rest of the big clubs at the time, one of the guys in the film notes that disco, "if it weren't for the blacks and the gays", would never have happened.

Some of the coolest footage from inside those discos back then, too.

Rented from Blockbuster, no less.

John Burgess said...

Au contraire, chere professeure...

It may lack a French passport, but 'My Diner with Andre' is as French a film in content and style as Bordeaux or Brie are French in wine and cheese.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I have it my my Netflix queue right now. I loved that actor when he played the Grand Nagus and also Stewie's brother Bertram on Family Guy. I'm sure I'll laugh through the entire movie!

john said...

Have people compared Andre Gregory to a guy who wants you to imagine a perpetual line of toothbrushers going around the world?

He would probably have called Gregory a cargo cult mythologist, but there are similarities.

ContraMan said...

I ordered "My Dinner With Andre" DVD - a film no one in my family appreciates. The fact that I am not alone in my love for that film will comfort me, and even better, confound my family.

It reminds me that I once took a course at UCLA in existentialism. At the first session the teacher looked around the room and asked: "Why are you all here? Existentialism as a philosophy died 50 years ago." But isn't that the beauty part? It remains a living philosophy which can guide you in life, as your first commenter so well expressed it.

Read "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker. The most affecting book on the subject that I have ever read.

Ann Althouse said...

"and just about anywhere around Christopher St. back then"

I lived on Jane St., one block from Christopher Street from 1977 to 1981. It's not as if the world had gone mad! What a cool place to live. I loved it. The most exciting, interesting place I've ever lived.

Ann Althouse said...

Feel free to rent the film on Netflix. I just want you to watch it. You don't have to buy the DVD on my account. Just, if you buy it, buy it from my link if you want to give me a cut of the purchase price.

EDH said...

teh gayz, who were going for broke in the back of meat trucks...


You'd think that a refrigerated meat truck would present a "shrinkage" problem.

Foobarista said...

I was probably destroyed for this movie by having to watch it for a "film as lit" class in college. I had to rent it, watch it about fifteen times to get the required quotes to write my paper, and stare at the ceiling trying to figure out just what those nekkid Polack commies were doing in that forest as it seemed important. (I actually scored an A on my report, but still didn't quite "get it")

There's no way this movie works for a 19 year old Silicon Valley kid. (Although if we got to see the Polacks on camera, it may have worked better...) But I may give it another whirl.

Bissage said...

Mrs. Bissage and I watched the Criterion release last night. We were both spellbound.

Unfortunately, houseguests arrived just as Andre started his grand surrebuttal. Crap!

Oh well. We agreed this morning we’ll watch it again later this week.

One remark, on the merits, I will hazard to make. As I’m sure you are sick of hearing, Professor, I was involved (half-assedly) in the theater back in the late-seventies/early-eighties. Well, what of it? The thing is, I watched the movie and I was astounded by how much the dialogue reminded me of actual conversations from back in the day.

“Authenticity” is not the be-all and end-all, of course, but that movie is absolutely brimming with theater-culture authenticity, at least according to my experience.

Yep. We really used to wear blindfolds and sit in a circle and listen to each other breathe and stuff like that.

THE THEATER IS ALIVE!!1!!!!!!1!!!

Ha!

WV: "hotoing." And yep, we did some of that, too, but only at cast parties.

Bissage said...

"I didn't know they were so small."

Link.

wv = ullabi. Evolutionary predecessor to the wallaby. No, make that the "Wallybee."