20 febbraio 2011

My Dinner with Andre: a cena, parlando della vita

My Dinner with Andre è un film di Louis Malle, uscito nel 1981. L'ho scoperto solo molti anni dopo, credo nel 2009. Sarà che nel 1981 ancora non ero nato. E' l'esempio pratico di come un film per piacermi possa dedicarsi totalmente nei dialoghi, piuttosto che nella trama o nei personaggi. Quasi 2 ore di film in cui osserviamo e ascoltiamo 2 persone che parlano durante una cena.

La prima ora è dedicata alla scoperta della spontaneità, della magia, del fascino di un viaggio surreale per i boschi della Polonia, mentre la seconda ora è dedicata ai rapporti umani, alla società e alla sua rovina. Per capire la bellezza di My Dinner with Andre, non posso descrivere ma solo ricopiare delle frasi del lungo dialogo, dalle quali voi altri potete, da soli, capire se vi interessano i concetti proposti dal film oppure se non apprezzate la vita e i suoi dilemmi.

"ANDRE: Well. Oh, I remember once, when we were in the city, we tried doing an improvisation, you know, the kind that I used to do in New York: everybody's supposed to be on an airplane, and they've all learned from the pilot that there's something wrong with the motor. But what was unusual about this improvisation was that two people who participated in it fell in love! You know, they've in fact married! And when we were--yeah!--out of fear of being on this plane, they fell in love, thinking they were going to die at any moment! And when we went to the forest, these two disappeared, because they understood the experiment so well that they realized that to go off together in the forest was much more important than any kind of experiment the group could do as a whole."
"ANDRE: Yeah, well, most people I met thought there was something wrong with me. They didn't say that but I could tell that that was what they thought. But, you see, what I think I experienced was for the first time in my life, to know what it means to be truly alive. Now that's very frightening, because with that comes an immediate awareness of death. 'Cause they go hand in hand. You know, the kind of impulse that led to Walt Whitman, that led to Leaves of Grass, you know, that feeling of being connected to everything means to also be connected to death. And that's pretty scary. But, I really felt as if I were floating above the ground, not walking, you know, and I could do things: I'd go out to the highway and watch the lights go from red to green and think: "How wonderful!""

"ANDRE: [Long pause.] Well, you know, I may be in a very emotional state right now, Wally, but since I've come back home, I've just been finding the world we're living in more and more upsetting. I mean. Last week I went down to the public theater one afternoon. You know, when I walked in I said "hello" to everybody, 'cause I know them all and they all know me, and they're always very friendly. You know that seven or eight people told me how wonderful I looked, and then one person, one, a woman who runs the casting office, said: "Gee, you look horrible! Is something wrong?" Now she, we started talking, of course I started telling her things, and she suddenly burst into tears because an aunt of hers, who's eighty, whom she's very fond of, went into the hospital for a cataract, which was solved, but the nurse was so sloppy she didn't put the bed rails up, so the aunt fell out of bed and is now a complete cripple! So, you know, we were talking about hospitals. Now, you know, this woman, because of who she is, you know, 'cause this had happened to her very, very recently, she could see me with complete clarity. [Wally says "Un-hunh."] She didn't know anything about what I've been going through. But the other people, what they saw was this tan or this shirt, or the fact that the shirt goes well with the tan, so they say: "Gee, you look wonderful!" Now, they're living in an insane dream world! They're not looking. That seems very strange to me."

"ANDRE: Right! And because people's concentration is on their goals, in their life they just live each moment by habit! Really, like the Norwegian, telling the same stories over and over again. [Wally murmurs "Um-hum"] Life becomes habitual! And it is, today! I mean, very few things happen now like that moment when Marlon Brando sent the Indian woman to accept the Oscar and everything went haywire? Things just very rarely go haywire now. And if you're just operating by habit, then you're not really living. I mean, you know, in Sanskrit the root of the verb "to be" is the same as the verb "to grow" or "to make grow.""

"ANDRE: [The background talking seems closer.] Well, I mean, Wally: how does it affect an audience to put on one of these plays in which you show that people are totally isolated now, and they can't reach each other, and their lives are desperate? Or how does it affect them to see a play that shows that our world is full of nothing but shocking sexual events and terror and violence? Does that help to wake up a sleeping audience? See, I don't think so. Because I think it's very likely that the picture of the world that you're showing them in a play like that is exactly the picture of the world they have already. I mean, you know, they know their own lives and relationships are difficult and painful. And if they watch the evening news on television, well, there what they see is a terrifying, chaotic universe full of rapes and murders, and hands cut off by subway cars, and children pushing their parents out of windows! So the play tells them that their impression of the world is correct and that there is absolutely no way out. There's nothing they can do. And they end up feeling passive and impotent."

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