Director: Louis Malle
I would guess more Gen-X'ers know My Dinner With Andre (1981) by reputation than have actually seen the film, by a country mile. Held up as the epitome of intellectualism in film by the time I hit film school in the mid-90's, I remember an art teacher in fifth grade (circa 1985) telling us about the movie, the same guy who also showed us Talking Heads videos, including what I think was Stop Making Sense.*
As much of a reputation as the movie earned, it also became a sort of cultural shibboleth and punchline. In the era of "Woody Allen is an intellectual genius" and last days of New York as the cultural epicenter for America (arguably shifting to LA by the late 1980's), the idea that a film would take on such heady topics as the nature of performance and theater, and, in fact, consciousness with a bent that's new-agey post-hippie "awareness" dressed up in tweed and fine dining was like pushing every button for the culture, especially in outposts outside of New York that longed to see themselves embroiled in such conversations. Of course it played well to both the audience it portrayed and the audience of art-majors and film critics across the country. That's not a dig - I'm just not surprised.