_My Dinner With André_ (vhs/ntsc) (1981) — Two friends meet at an elegant New York restaurant and have a lively, engrossing, funny, and contemplative conversation about what has been occurring in their lives. Playwright/actor Wallace Shawn (_Princess Bride_) and stage director/actor Andre Gregory (_Some Girls_, _Mosquito Coast_ (vhs/ntsc) basically play themselves—the two wrote the screenplay together, and director Louis Malle (_Pretty Baby_, _Atlantic City_, and _Au Revoir, Les Enfants_) shot it in 16 days. Done with warmth and good humor, this is an absorbing presentation of the art of conversation that completely transcends the static set. Shawn, whose narration bookends the film, largely sits rapt as Gregory launches into long monologues about his exploits of spiritual self-revelation, which have about them airs of both mystery and mischievousness. (Pacific Arts Video, 110 minutes.)
is it me, or is it slightly creepy that Andre starts talking about going into secret forest gatherings where impromptu theater and dance bursts forth and last all night, and the sun rises at dawn and you start talking to trees? not to mention all the hugging and music and self discovery going on... - @Om* 5/25/00
hmm... also of interest is the mention of Montauk, Findhorn, Gurdjieff-like notions such as "we're all living in a trance state, a dream world..."mentioning of the quantum dance of the bees; below is a transcription of my favorite part of the monologue - sounds like TAZ to me... always something new to be gleamed after repeated viewings... - @Om* 9/7/02
"okay, yes... we are bored... we're all bored now... but has it ever occured to you Wally that the process that creates this boredom that we see in this world now, may very well be a self prepetuating unconscious form of brainwashing, created by a world totalitarian government based on money, and that all this is much more dangerous than one thinks? and it's not just a question of individual survival Wally, but that somebody who is bored is asleep, and that someone who is asleep will not say no? i keep meeting these people, just a few days ago I met this man who I greatly admire... he's a Swedish physicist, Gustav Bjornstrand, and he told me that he no longer watches television, he doesn't read newspapers and doesn't read magazines... he's completely cut them out of his life because he really does feel that we are living in some kind of an Orwellian nightmare now... and everything that you hear now contributes into turning you into a robot... when i was in findhorn, I met this extraordinary English tree expert, who had devoted his life to saving trees... he just got back from Washington, lobbying to save the Redwoods... age 40 years and he always travels with a backpack because he never knows where he's going to be tomorrow... when i met him at Findhorn he said to me, 'where are you from?' and I said 'New York'... 'ahh New York, it's a very interesting place... do you know a lot of New Yorkers who keep talking about wanting to leave but never do?' and I said yes, and he said 'why do you tink they don't leave?' I gave him a few banal theories, and he said 'i don't think it's that way at all... i think that New York is a new model for the new concentration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates ARE the guards, and they have this pride in this thing they built, they built their own prison, so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are the both guards and prisoners, and as a result they no longer have, having been lobotomized, the capacity to leave the prison they made or to even see it as a prison.' then he went into his pocket and he took out a seed for a tree. he said 'this is a pine tree.' he put it in my hand, and said 'escape, before it's too late'. see actually for 2 to 3 years now, Chiquita and I have had this very unpleasant feeling that we really should get out.. that we really should feel like Jews in Germany in the late 30's... get out of here.. but the problem is, where to go, because it seems quite obvious that the whole world is going in the same direction. [...] now, of course Bjornstrand, feels that there is really almost no hope, and that we're probably going back to a very savage, lawless, terrifying period...
Findhorn people see it a little differently.
they feel that there will be these pockets of light, springing up in different parts of the world, and that these will be in a way invisible planets on this planet... and as we of the world grow colder, we can take invisible space journeys to these different planets, refuel for what it is we need to do on the planet itself, and come back. and its their feeling that there have to be centers now, where people can come and reconstruct a new future for the world... and when i was talking to Gustav Bjornstrand, he was saying that these centers are actually growing up everywhere now... and what they are was trying to do, and what Findhorn was trying to do, and in a way what i was trying to do... I mean, these things can't be given names... but in a way, these are all attempts at creating a new kind of school or a new kind of monestary... and Bjornstrand talks about the concept of reserves... islands of safety, where history can be remembered and the human being can continue to function in order to maintain the species through a dark age... in other words we're talking about an underground, which did exist in different ways during the dark ages among the mystical orders of the church... and the purpose of this underground is to find out how to preserve the light.. life... the culture... how to keep things living... you see I keep thinking what we need is a new language... a language of the heart.. the language of the Polish forest where language wasn't needed... some kind of language between people that is a new kind of poetry... it's the poetry of the dancing bee that tells us where the honey is... and I think that in order to create that language you're going to have to learn how to go through the looking glass, into another kind of perception where you have that sense of being united... with all things. then suddenly, you understand everything."
I guess I'm a soft Dark Ager. I think there will be a
mild Dark Age. I don't think it will be anything like the Dark Ages which lasted
a thousand years -- I think it will last more like
five years -- and will be a time
of economic retraction, religious
fundamentalism, retreat into closed communities by certain segments of the
society, feudal warfare among minor states, and
this sort of thing. I think it will give way in the late '90s to the actual
global future that we're all yearning for. Then there will be
basically a 15-year period where all these things are drawn together with progressively greater and greater sophistication, much in the way that modern science, and philosophy has grown with greater and greater sophistication in a single direction since the Renaissance. Sometime around the end of 2012, all of this will be boiled down into a kind of alchemical distillation of the historical experience that will be a doorway into the life of the imagination.
- Terence McKenna - interview in _High Times Magazine_, April 1992
i would have to agree.
but i think his time table is a bit off... i think the dark age started at y2k
with a false sense of relief, then the hijacking of the illusion of american
democracy by a scam in the voting system... this whole war on terrorism bullshit,
the Bush dynasty coup soap opera, the christian
crusade revival, our cross-border ruling class known as the corporations, the
salivating over scarce and dependent toxic resources like fossil fuel (talk
about a drug fiend on a national class scale) - it's all a sign of the minor
dark age before the shift... it's so ridiculously silly, it's no longer scary.
sit tight, watch the sit-com unfold, and in a half hour you can turn off your
tv. afterall, we've all been trained the last few decades to do
just that... - @Om* 1/30/02