17 Jun 2024

My Dinner with André: Rediscovery

"If you can’t react to another person, then there’s no possibility of action or interaction.” Two friends who haven’t seen each other in five years agree to give themselves a chance to meet for dinner. They agree to connect.

Introverted and fearful, Wallace agrees to meet the exuberant André again. They don’t seem to have much in common—different views on life, opposite rhythms, contrasting desires and pursuits—but something still connects them. They let themselves be carried by dialogue for its own sake, without hiding behind efficiency. André constantly invents and plunges into the unknown; he wants to share his experiences abroad. Wallace feels uncomfortable. Why should he be interested in the intimacy of this quasi-stranger?! Why should he please him by listening? In a society where we’ve become accustomed to delivering a message and moving on, worried that we might have to reveal something about ourselves, that we might expose our personality, demons, weaknesses, we’ve forgotten how to have a conversation, to let ourselves be carried away.

Dense and demanding, like an exhausting table discussion, My Dinner with André is something that seems no longer made, coming from the shadows of history, when not everything was about ratings and utility, when people were (still) concerned with ideas and the significance of a debate. It’s a thick-shelled relic and proof of the peculiarities of generations, social relationships, and the acceptance that it’s okay to feel awkward when meeting someone; that we are not all the same and don’t need to be. That would make things boring. That some seek new experiences and others want to stay in their own universe, perhaps tiny and insignificant, but theirs, warm, like the electric blanket that delights Wallace so much.

It’s something that can still influence us, as we can see in Lithuanian Romas Zabarauskas’s film, The Writer, in which two former lovers reunite in old age, in an apartment in New York, and reminisce about the past, realizing how different they’ve become.

Zabarauskas will introduce and present Malle’s film at TIFF, in one of the most beautiful showcases of this edition!

Monday, June 17, 6:30 PM - Students' Culture House

Thursday, June 20, 10:15 PM - Sapientia University