February 29, 2012

"You realize when you get to my age... that you hopefully will still do some more work."

"But the last great creative adventure is dying in a positive way."

Andre Gregory is back making a movie with Wallace Shawn. (Together they made what has been my favorite movie for the past quarter century.)

23 comments:

John Lynch said...

I still can't see that movie without thinking "it's the guy from 'Princess Bride," or "Wow! It's the Grand Nagus!"

EDH said...

There will there be car chases and explosions, ya?

edutcher said...

How old was John Ford when he made "Sergeant Rutledge"?

ricpic said...

I'd bet the farm that Gregory assumes oblivion follows death. So what difference does it make whether he dies a "positive death" or a negative death? DED dead is what follows in either case.

Rusty said...

Oh good. you can watch it with my wife. I'll be in Cross Plains.
Have fun.

John Lynch said...

Behold! The Grand Nagus Wallace Shawn!

wild chicken said...

Oh, I loved Lem's quote about existentialism in the first comment. I saw part of My Dinner with Andre in a motel room in Elko, NV and kinda laughed how they just talked and talked, then fell asleep.

I'd like to watch it now but I just don't think DH would understand.

Alex said...

ricpic - wow you Christians are so filled with compassion to non-believers.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I'd bet the farm that Gregory assumes oblivion follows death.

Why? Have you seen My Dinner with Andre? His character in that movie was based on real conversations, and the character has a lot of mystical beliefs.

Duncan said...

Anne, I know that the contemporary cinema has some problems and most films are suboptimal but seriously?

There must have been something else in 25 years that was more enjoyable. Particularly since Andre isn't really film qua film. It's just conversation. Blogging Heads.

traditionalguy said...

Dying in a positive way is not easy. We can't all be Clint Eastwood in Gran Tourino.

Cleaning up any sour relationships in a family comes to mind. And doing the will and estate work properly.

Writing or at least telling the family history to younger members is also a duty that no one but you can do.

tim maguire said...

Overall, My Dinner With Andre was an interesting concept, but not a movie I'd want to see twice.

My wife's favorite part was how Andre went on and on about spirituality and the oneness of life, all the while treating the waiter like shit, too wrapped up in his own philosophizing to notice what a lousy diner he was being. Probably a bad tipper.

bagoh20 said...

I found that the whole concept of "My Dinner with Andre" was done much better and with far more depth and authenticity by the "Transformers" series.

CJinPA said...

I was hoping they'd do a "My Dinner with Andre" sequel, except in my version of events the two actors for some reason refuse to travel to be in it, so they use CGI and green sceen technology, resulting in a $100 million film about two men talking.

paul a'barge said...

My Dinner with Andre!

Why does this not show up on TV more often?

Carnifex said...

Visinni! (did I get the spelling right this time Lem?)

The choice of ones favorite film is like ones favorite ice cream, that's why they make chocolate and vanilla(or butter pecan with hot dog water)

Is anyone else concerned that Visinni is basically doing a rewrite of Ibsen? If you love Ibsen so much why would you feel the need to "improve" his work?

One imagines the Family Guy episode where Peter improved "The King and I". With space ninja killer robots.

PS, tornado's here this morning, hope everyone is safe.

sonicfrog said...

Huh.... I thought "My Dinner With Andre" was about Andre The Giant!

sonicfrog said...

Making another movie together????....

Inconceivable!

Hey, someone had to go there.

Almost Ali said...

Indirectly...

What's interesting to me is Ann's connection to the Village, ie Christopher Street. I was in the Village some years earlier, managing (babysitting) restaurants like The Cookery (University & 8th), the Hip Bagel (MacDougal Street), the English Pub and Howard Johnson's (blinding drag-queen hangout after dark) - both on 6th Avenue.

Back when a huge, menacing-looking, staff-wielding, rug-wearing, street character known as "Big Brown" was the unofficial King of Greenwich Village - back when Sandy Dennis's favorite restaurant was "Tad's" steak house on 6th Avenue; T-bone dinner; $1.29 (plus tax). I know this only because Tad's (in the Village) was also my favorite restaurant - and her favorite table happened to face my favorite table. And we both tended to eat there alone. Often. So we smiled at each other from across the near space - and nothing more - two hungry ships in the night.

While I'm name-dropping, on more than one early morning (daybreak), I saw Richard Pryor emerging from a small apartment building on MacDougal Street - before he was nationally famous. Judging by his disheveled appearance, I guessed it had been a carnal affair. And he smiled when we passed. But nothing more, because even places like MacDougal street were often silent and abandoned that early in the morning.

Another name was Bobby Fischer, who never smiled - across a chessboard. Deadly serious he was, stalking Washington Square Park at all hours, stalking the herds of uptown gazelles and downtown wildebeests. Then striking like fatal lightening and disappearing into the subway.

Jack Kerouac once lived off the Square, although he had a terrible sense of direction. O'Henry, too, who wandered across Houston Street and mingled with newly-arrived Italians.

In other words, you have your history, and I have mine - of grilling up "Pianos" and "Guitars" in the middle of the night after the cooked walked out - with Dave Brubeck playing Take Five in the background...

ricpic said...

Hey Almost Ali, do you remember a character who used to stand on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue? He was hooded, had some kind of a staff and just stood there. He was wrapped in some kind of orange and tan robe. He was big, I'd say at least 6' 2" and 200 plus pounds. Always on the same corner. This went on for years, late 50's early 60's. I would pass him countless times in my endless Manhattan meanderings back then. Jean Shepherd referred to him several times on his radio show. For the life of me I can't think of his name.

Victor Erimita said...

A few years after 'My Dinner with Andre" came out I was at Delmonico's restaurant in Mnahattan. Gregory and Shawn were seated at the next table, which in Mnahhattan means very close by. I could hear their conversation, and it was pretty much just like the movie, complete with Gregory doing most of the talking. It was like a sequel to the movie. They also had two women with them (their wives?) Neither seemed to get much of a word in.

Almost Ali said...

ricpic said...
Hey Almost Ali, do you remember a character who used to stand on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue?

I rarely crossed 53rd & 6th except as a wee youngster - when we lived for a time on W. 53rd between 5th & 6th - next to MOMA.

But your description is somewhat reminiscent of "Big Brown," although Brown, a black man, was taller - I'd say 6'6", and probably 250 pounds (he wasn't fat). I recall his size because he came into the Hip Bagel one Friday night and politely asked if he could use the bathroom. The Hip Bagel's "bathroom" was the size of a closet, with a low, slanted ceiling - and I wondered how he squeezed himself in there. No worse for wear, he left a few minutes later but not before thanking me. Meanwhile, everyone in the restaurant had been quaking in their boots - such was his fearsome appearance.

To my knowledge, Big Brown's favorite spots were Sheridan Square (next to the subway entrance), Washington Square, MacDougal and Bleecker Streets, and late at night "guarding" Trinity Church at the top of Wall Street. ‘Round midnight he would wander over to the Staten Island Ferry, again standing “guard at the entrance,” on cold nights riding back and forth until daybreak while “resting” on one of the long ferry benches. I don't know how he survived, but always guided by inner voices. (I was living on South Street during this period)

They used Big Brown as a colorful, eye-catching, backdrop-character in the movie Serpico, but without his knowledge - they set up their cameras in Sheridan Square and waited for him to appear - a creature of habit.

Did you live and/or grow up in the city, Ricpic? There used to be a drug store and fruit stand on the corner of 53rd & 6th - until replaced by the ABC /or/ CBS building (I always forget which) - I think they call the building Black Rock. It was a fun neighborhood when I was a kid – the Rockettes lived down the street, so I had the run of Radio City Music Hall – often looked after by dozens of beautiful show girls from places like Indiana and Iowa. Real Norman Rockwell stuff, with a touch of Marilyn Monroe;)

Jonathan Talbot said...

The person referred to at 53rd and 6th is Moondog, who was blind. He has a Wikipedia entry.

-Jonathan Talbot
www.talbot1.com