A short clip from the film My Dinner With Andre makes some important observations
This clip from the 1981 film My Dinner With Andre is dubbed ‘A Highly Conscious Conversation’, and is one of those old classic cinematic excerpts (like Brave New World, The Network, or 1984) that provided an eerie, prophetic window into the future we are now living in. It touches on subjects such as media brainwashing, the death of intellect and emotion, the money system, and awakening to the truth.
It was directed by Louis Malle and written by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, who also star in the movie. My Dinner With Andre could be described as an artistic, intelligent, and very unusual piece of cinema. Wallace, a playwright, and Andre, a theater director, meet in a New York restaurant after years of lost contact, and spend two hours philosophizing about life, travel, theater, humanism, spirituality and everything in between. Although the conversation seems spontaneous and very natural, the entire dialogue was actually scripted over the period of a year, using authentic recorded conversations between the pair. The camera stays with the men for two hours as they eat and drink in ‘real time’, giving the viewer the sense that they are part of this intimate discussion. Critics of the movie might say this is all there is to the story, but they would be missing the point.
Wally, the more rational and pragmatic of the two, listens in astonishment as Andre describes various adventures he’s had traveling the world. The director talks of his experiences at Findhorn, a Scottish commune, in a forest in Poland, in the Sahara with a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and a performance piece he did on Long Island which led to him being buried alive. During the conversation, we get the impression that Wally begins to realize there are other ways of living, other ways of perceiving the world.
This short clip from ‘Educate Inspire Change’ begins with Wally asking Andre whether he believes humanity has become bored; whether we are all just like “spoiled children.” Andre replies that he believes we are. But why? Here’s his theory:
“Has it ever occurred to you Wally that the process that creates this boredom that we see in the world may very well be a self-perpetuating, unconscious form of brainwashing created by a world totalitarian government based on money, and that all of this is much more dangerous than one thinks?” Andre continues: “Somebody who is bored is asleep. And somebody who is asleep will not say no.”
Andre talks about how avoiding the media could be a healthy thing, because “everything you hear now contributes to turning you into a robot.” He talks of how big cities are effectively “concentration camps”, built by the people themselves to perpetuate their own slavery, with citizens acting as “both the guards and the prisoners”. He talks about the need to escape all of this, and the problem of where to go.
“See, the 1960s represented the last burst of the human being before he was extinguished,” Andre suggests. He talks about how we are now living in the early stages of a new dark age, but is hopeful that this era will include “pockets of light”, as awakened humans create a new future in spite of everything. “We’re talking about an underground [resistance]”, Andres tells Wally. “I keep thinking that what we need is a new language. A language of the heart.”
The movie is full of insightful food for thought, and it’s worth watching the whole film if you enjoyed listening to Andre’s observations. Let us know whether you agree in the comments section.
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