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The Film Forum to Host Special Screenings of MY DINNER WITH ANDRE and ANDRE GREGORY: BEFORE AND AFTER DINNER

Book signings and Q+A sessions are set to follow.

The Film Forum to Host Special Screenings of MY DINNER WITH ANDRE and ANDRE GREGORY: BEFORE AND AFTER DINNER

Film Forum will present two special screenings honoring celebrated writer-director-actor-artist André Gregory: MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ (1981), Louis Malle's groundbreaking comedy-drama written by and starring Gregory and Wallace Shawn on Monday, May 9 at 8:00 in 35mm; and ANDRÉ GREGORY: BEFORE AND AFTER DINNER, the documentary on Gregory's life and work, directed by his wife, Cindy Kleine (a Film Forum premiere in 2013) on Wednesday, May 11 at 8:00. In-person Q&As and a book signing of This is Not My Memoir, a collaboration between Gregory and Todd London, will follow both screenings.

MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ
(1981, Louis Malle) Commonly thought to be a real time conversation in a fancy New York restaurant, MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ was in fact "filmed with exquisite attention to the smallest details by director Louis Malle over a period of week, and not in a New York restaurant but on a studio set. The conversation that flows so spontaneously between André Gregory and Wallace Shawn was carefully scripted. 'They taped their conversations two or three times a week for three months, and then Shawn worked for a year shaping the material into a script, in which they play comic distillations of aspects of themselves,' Pauline Kael writes.

"Both Shawn and Gregory are born storytellers, and as they talk we see their faces, but we picture much more: André being buried alive, and a monk lifting himself by his fingertips, and fauns cavorting in a forest. And Wally trudging around to agents with his plays, and happily having dinner with Debbie, and, yes, enjoying [Charlton] Heston's autobiography. We see all of these things so vividly that MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ never becomes a static series of two shots and closeups, but seems only precariously anchored to that restaurant, and in imminent danger of hurtling itself to the top of Everest.... There is nothing else like it. It should be unwatchable, and yet those who love it return time and again, enchanted." - Roger Ebert.

Monday, May 9 at 8:00
35mm. Approx. 110 min
*In-person Q&A with André Gregory. Book signing to follow the screening.

ANDRÉ GREGORY: BEFORE AND AFTER DINNER
(2013, Cindy Kleine) This portrait of groundbreaking director, actor, and artist André Gregory by Cindy Kleine (who is also his wife) is a delightful, ruminative appreciation of one man's life and work. A brilliant and often hilariously funny raconteur, Gregory discusses the making of MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ (1981), written by and starring Gregory and Wallace Shawn and directed by Louis Malle. He speaks warmly of his lifelong friendship with Shawn (also collaborators on the movie VANYA ON 42nd STREET and a recent production of Ibsen's The Master Builder), and his problematic relationship with his European parents, whom he calls "Jews who forgot to tell their children they were Jews" and "the insane rulers of a little Balkan country." Gregory throws in a dash of film noir as he investigates the possibility that his enigmatic father might have been an economic agent for the Nazis. André Gregory is a master storyteller, whose own life encompasses compelling passions, fears, and mysteries worthy of his theatrical mentors.

Wednesday, May 11 at 8:00
DCP. Approx. 108 min.
In-person Q&A with André Gregory & Cindy Kleine. Book signing to follow the screening.

This is Not My Memoir

(FSG, 2020), Gregory shares memories from a life lived for art, including stories from the making of MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ. Taking on the dizzying, wondrous nature of a fever dream, This is Not My Memoir includes fantastic and fantastical stories that take the reader from wartime Paris to golden-age Hollywood, from avant-garde theaters to monasteries in India. Along the way we meet Jerzy Grotowski, Helene Weigel (Brecht's collaborator and widow), Gregory Peck, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Wallace Shawn, and other larger-than-life personalities. This is Not My Memoir is a collaboration between Gregory and Todd London.


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