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School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston http://blog.smfa.edu
“I can think of no film biography I’d rather watch than of the great artist André Gregory. His life is a fascinating one, full of shocking discovery and transcendent action. And there is no one more qualified to tell that story than Cindy Kleine, not only his wife, but also a great introspective filmmaker who has made a life’s work of getting to the heart of those strange and complicated souls who like to call themselves human beings. I can’t wait.”
Before And After Dinner is a film about memory, family, storytelling, mystery, truth, art, life, passion and marriage as explored by visionary theatre director André Gregory and his wife, award winning filmmaker Cindy Kleine.
Strangers approach André often to thank him for the effect My Dinner with André had on them. Not in the way one approaches a famous celebrity, but with gracious awe, the way once approaches a great scholar or teacher. The film, far from being his only great work, brought some of his deep insights, wisdom, adventure and stories to the world.
André and I talked about making a memoir film for several years and I wrestled with how I would capture his larger than life story. I continued to ask myself, where would I begin…until May 18, 2009, opening day of Wally Shawn’s Grasses of a Thousand Colors, directed by Andre, at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
That afternoon André was informed of a document implicating his prominent Jewish father as an economic spy for Hitler. The life of André Gregory changed forever and the devastating discovery opened questions about André’s own identity and life’s work. Was this information was true?
In combination with memories André shared with me about his father, this information became the catalyst for the beginning of the journey of this film. It was the narrative key to the story of a very mysterious life, in the context of history and family dynamics. It provided a new and startling perspective to re-imagine, or re-envision, André’s life and work.
Before And After Dinner, is an intimate portrait of the life and work of André Gregory, director, actor, writer, artist and raconteur directed by me, Cindy Kleine, filmmaker and André’s wife. The documentary introduces us to this cultural icon in a spiral of unexpected twists and turns. Since the film is one of surprises, I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say it’s part thriller, part cloak and dagger, part backstage view of what goes into the making of a great theatre production, as well as a puzzle, a kaleidoscope, and a strange, funny, disturbing, inspiring journey. Before And After Dinner touches on universal questions: where does art come from? What experiences ultimately shape the life, the preoccupations, and the work of an artist? As in My Dinner With André, André’s colorful storytelling takes us back in time, searching for truth.
WHERE WE ARE NOW AND HOW YOU CAN HELP
We have been working on Before and After Dinner for the past three years and are now in the very last stages of post-production. We have come to Kickstarter and the crowdfunding community to raise the additional funds needed to complete the final stages of the film.
Your contribution will allow us to cover essential expenses such as the sound mix, color correction, music and film clip licenses and final editing, as well as address the long laundry list required to finish, launch and promote the film, submit to festivals and most importantly, share with you. Simply put, without the additional funds, the film cannot be completed.
We are confident that with your participation and involvement, our goal of $75,000 will be raised by August 25th .We hope that you will not only consider contributing to the project, but will become a Before and After Dinner ambassador, and help to spread the word about the film and Kickstarter campaign. Every amount brings us closer to our goal, and we are thankful for whatever level you can contribute.
An André fan recently wrote on Twitter, “Everyone should be a little more like André Gregory.” We are excited about finishing and look forward to sharing André’s extraordinary life and unique perspectives with audiences everywhere. A successful Kickstarter campaign for Before and After Dinner will make this goal a reality.
THE BEFORE AND AFTER DINNER TEAM
Our talented and dedicated team of award-winning professionals include:
Director: Cindy Kleine Cindy is a film and video artist whose prolific career began when she was an undergraduate at The Museum School and at the legendary MIT Film/Video Section, studying with Richard Leacock, influenced by visiting filmmakers Ed Pincus and Robert Frank, and among a legion of future filmmakers in the program, including Ross McElwee, Robb Moss and John Gianvito. In line with Boston peers, Kleine has developed a central body of documentary work which are family dramas, including the acclaimed feature, Phyllis and Harold, an intense probe of her parents' fifty-nine years of a dubious, fractured marriage. Her film, Doug and Mike, Mike and Doug, about the artists The Starn Twins, was broadcast on PBS's POV Film Series. Kleine's films have been exhibited at many international festivals, including: Telluride, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Vancouver, and at such venues as The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Knitting Factory, Anthology Film Archives, The ICA in London and The Center d'art Contemporain in Lyon, France.
Co-Producer and Editor: Jonathan Oppenheim Jonathan's editing credits include Sister Helen and Children Underground, a film he co-produced, which was nominated for an Oscar and won the Sundance Special Jury Prize, Gotham and IDA awards. He edited Paris Is Burning, awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics and IDA Awards. Among his additional credits are co-producer and editor for Phyllis and Harold by Cindy Kleine, and The Oath, by Laura Poitras. Jonathan was the co-editor of Strongman, winner of the 2009 Slamdance Grand Jury award for Best Documentary Feature and Arguing the World, for which he and producer/director, Joseph Dorman received a Peabody Award. He has served as an advisor at the Sundance Documentary Editing Lab and made numerous presentations to film students at NYU, Yale and Columbia.
Director of Photography: Tom Hurwitz
Tom’s latest documentary is the recently released The Queen of Versailles. He is a two-time Emmy Award winner. He received Sundance and Jerusalem Film Festival Awards for Best Cinematography and has directed photography in films that have won four academy awards and several nominations, including Dancemaker and Killing in the Name. Hurwitz’s other award-winning films and programs include: Valentino: The Last Emperor, Wild Man Blues, My Generation, Down and Out in America and Harlan County USA. Over the last 25 years, his television programs have won Emmy, Dupont, Peabody, Directors Guild and film festival awards for Best Documentary.
Sonic thinker, composer, and sound artist —Bruce is known for his large scale, public space sound installations which transform city noise into harmony, real- time. In 2004 he and Sam Auinger (O+A) altered the harmonic mix of the World Financial Center Plaza using the moon, tides, harmonic tuning tubes, and cement loudspeakers (Blue Moon). Together they have changed the sonic character of many public spaces around the world. His many collaborations include work with Laurie Anderson, Dan Graham, Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn, Peter Sellars, Joanne Akailitis, Robert Woodruff, Tony Oursler, Peter Erskine, and the Wooster Group.
Animation and Graphics: Lisa Crafts
Lisa is an award winning animator whose independent work has screened on televison, and at museums, theatres and festivals worldwide. Her recent short, The Flooded Playground, played the festival circuit, including Slamdance, and enjoyed a theatrical run at Film Forum in New York City. Her credits on feature documentaries include animation for Cindy Kleine’s Phyllis and Harold, Michel Negroponte’s Methadonia, WISOR, I’m Dangerous with Love, and American Master’s documentary, Louisa May Alcott, The Woman Behind Little Women. She created animated segments for PBS’s Electric Company, American Movie Classics, MTV, VH1 and Sesame Street, for which she received two Daytime Emmys.
Co-Producer: Susan Lazarus
Susan is one of New York’s first independent post-production supervisors, working on films including Mississippi Masala (Mira Nair), Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins), The Boxer (Jim Sheridan), and Naqoyqatsi (Godfrey Reggio), The Door in the Floor (Tod Williams), Inside Man (Spike Lee) and The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch). Her associate Producer credits include Phyllis and Harold (Cindy Kleine) and Before You Go (Nicole Betancourt, HBO). Lazarus was Producer with Josh Waletzky of the documentary feature Image Before My Eyes, funded by The National Endowment for the Humanities. She was Co-Producer of the documentary Apache 8 and supervised post-production on Borderline Films’ Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin) and Simon Killer (Antonio Campos).
The entire Before and After Dinner team thanks you so very much for your support!
“Treasures like André Gregory do not come around often. He is one of our most important artists. I am thrilled that there will be a film to help us all navigate his life, his work and his idiosyncratic and uniquely truthful vision.”
Sir Simon Rattle
- (43 days)