As the title of “Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner” acknowledges, if you’ve heard of Gregory at all it’s probably from Louis Malle’s 1981 movie “My Dinner With Andre.”
This fond, overindulgent documentary portrait of the actor-stage director — directed by his wife, Cindy Kleine, and it shows — takes us back to Gregory’s early years (enigmatic parents, New York avant-garde theater) and his wayward Hollywood appearances (“Demolition Man”!), and into the present, when the aging director is endlessly rehearsing a production of “The Master Builder” with old friends like Wallace Shawn. At 79, Gregory resembles the most ecstatic tortoise on the planet, and the film sees the creative process as a sacrament in which the play’s not the thing but the getting there is. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.