MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ
1981, Janus Films, 110 min, USA, Dir: Louis Malle

In this captivating and philosophical film, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with theater director friend André Gregory at a restaurant on New York’s Upper West Side, and the pair proceed through an alternately whimsical and despairing confessional about love, death, money and all the superstition in between. Playing variations on their own New York–honed personas, Shawn and Gregory, who also cowrote the screenplay, dive in with introspective intellectual gusto, and Malle captures it all with a delicate, artful detachment. A fascinating freeze-frame of cosmopolitan culture, MY DINNER WITH ANDRÉ remains a unique work in cinema history.


ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS
ASCENSEUR POUR L’ECHAFAUD
1958, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, France, Dir: Louis Malle

“I knew I loved you, but I thought only of myself,” murmurs gorgeous Jeanne Moreau - after setting in motion a murderous plot involving her fat-cat husband, a young intelligence officer (Maurice Ronet) and some of the darkest twists and turns in French cinema. Made when Malle was only 25 years old, this film helped jump-start the French New Wave. The dazzling cinematography of Henri Decaë (who also shot THE 400 BLOWS) is enhanced by Miles Davis’ haunting jazz score.


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