My Dinner with Andre is a 1981 American comedy-drama film directed by Louis Malle, and written by and starring André Gregory and Wallace Shawn. The actors play fictionalized versions of themselves sharing a conversation at a Cafe. Following is a six-minute segment of the movie titled We are Bored.
Okay. Yes, we are bored. We are all bored now, but has it ever occurred to you, Wally, that the process that creates this boredom that we see in the world now 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. And it’s not just a question of individual survival, Wally, but that somebody who’s bored is asleep and somebody who’s asleep, will not say no. See, I keep meeting these people. I mean, uh, just a few days ago, I met this man and I greatly admire him. A Swedish physicist, Gustav Piran. And he told me that he no longer watches television. He doesn’t read newspapers and he 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 Orwellian nightmare and that everything that you hear now contributes to turning you into a robot … I met this extraordinary English tree expert who had devoted his life to saving trees. He said to me, where are you from? And I said, New York. He said, ah, New York. Yes. That’s a very interesting place. Do you know a lot of New Yorkers who keep talking about the fact that they wanna leave, but never do? And I said, oh yes. And he said, why do you think they don’t leave? I gave him different theories. He said, oh, I don’t think it’s that way at all. He said I think New York is the new model for the new concentration camp, it is a camp built by the inmates themselves.
And the inmates are the guards and they have pride in this thing they’ve built, they’ve built their own prison. And so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are both guards and prisoners. And as a result, they no longer have the capacity to leave the prison they’ve made or to even see it as a prison. Then he went into his pocket and he took out a seed for a tree. And he said this is a pine tree. He put it in my hand and he said escape before it’s too late. For two or three years now, Chiquita and I have had this very unpleasant feeling that we really should get out. And we really feel like Jews in Germany in the late thirties – we must get out of here. Of course, the problem is where to go. Cause it seems quite obvious that the whole world is going in the same direction. See, I think it’s quite possible that the 1960s represented the last burst of the human being before he was extinguished. And that this is the beginning of the rest of the future. From now on there will be all these robots walking around, feeling nothing, and thinking nothing. And there will be almost nobody left to remind them that there once was a species called a “human being” with feelings and thoughts and that history and memory are right now being erased. And soon nobody will really remember that life existed on the planet.
Now of course my friend feels that there’s really almost no hope. And that we’re probably going back to a very savage, lawless, terrifying period. Some people believe that there will some 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 that as the world grows colder, we can take invisible space journeys to these different planets, refuel for what we need, and come back. And it’s their feeling that there will be centers where people can come and reconstruct a new future for the world. And when I was talking to my friend he was saying that actually, these centers are growing up everywhere now. And what they’re trying to do, which is what other people are trying to do, is to create a new kind of school or a new kind of monastery. There will be 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 a different way 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, culture, how to keep things living. You see, I keep thinking that what we need is a new language. A language of the heart, like in the Polish forest where language became a new kind of poetry. That’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 are going to have to learn how you can go through a looking glass into another kind of perception where you have that sense of being united to all things. And suddenly – you understand everything.
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