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Gray's Widow: 'Irish Car Crash Sparked Suicide'


Spalding Gray

The costume designer widow of actor and writer Spalding Gray has revealed her late husband lost the will to live after suffering brain damage in a car accident in Ireland.

Gray committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island Ferry in New York in 2004, but his widow Kathleen Russo believes something died inside him years before.

She tells WENN, "The car accident in Ireland is really what led him to commit suicide, which a lot of people don't know about.

"We were in Ireland in 2001 to celebrate his 60th birthday in County Meath and it was our second night there and we were coming back from a restaurant... and someone hit us head on.

Continue reading: Gray's Widow: 'Irish Car Crash Sparked Suicide'

Gray's Widow Plans Book, Play & Film About Husband's Life


Spalding Gray

Actor/writer Spalding Gray's widow is keeping her late husband's legacy alive by writing a book about her time with him and a play and film based on his journals.

Kathleen Russo was left devastated when Gray committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island Ferry in New York in 2004, and she's committed to keeping her dead husband's memory alive.

Currently producing Steven Soderbergh's documentary about Gray's life, And Everything is Going Fine, the Hollywood costume designer has big plans for 2011.

She tells WENN, "There is so much work that I'm doing. There's a book for (publishers) Knoft next year and I'm doing a play based on his journals that will tour Britain, called There Are Stories to Tell. It comes to Glasgow next March. It's a cast of five people that represent a part of his life - the adventurer, the journal reader, the family man, the lover and the career person.

Continue reading: Gray's Widow Plans Book, Play & Film About Husband's Life

Monster In A Box Review


Extraordinary
After proving his ability to dazzle audiences with his monologue Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray returns with this follow-up that outlines his experiences in Los Angeles (having found minor fame with the prior film), traveling to Russia as part of an American cinema tour, fearing he has AIDS and seeking psychoanalysis, and -- most importantly -- attempting to write a novel called Impossible Vacation (which can now be found used for about a quarter). Directed with a light hand by documentarian Nick Broomfield, Gray remains on top of his neurotic game here, with, as his therapist says, his subconscious so close to the surface you "can see its periscope." Awesome.

Monster In A Box Review


Extraordinary
After proving his ability to dazzle audiences with his monologue Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray returns with this follow-up that outlines his experiences in Los Angeles (having found minor fame with the prior film), traveling to Russia as part of an American cinema tour, fearing he has AIDS and seeking psychoanalysis, and -- most importantly -- attempting to write a novel called Impossible Vacation (which can now be found used for about a quarter). Directed with a light hand by documentarian Nick Broomfield, Gray remains on top of his neurotic game here, with, as his therapist says, his subconscious so close to the surface you "can see its periscope." Awesome.

The Killing Fields Review


Excellent
People never really got the message about Cambodia that they did about Vietnam. Thanks to movies like The Killing Fields the story can be told, and in fine form. Sam Waterston plays New York Times Sydney Schanberg, who's angrily covering the war from the front lines, but the film (and the Oscar, ultimately) belongs to Haing S. Ngor, who plays Dith Pran, Schanberg's Cambodian translator and assistant. When the shit goes down, Pran can't get out of the country as easily as Schanberg, and the story he tells from the months that followed are epic and heartrending.

Beyond Rangoon Review


Weak
Beyond Rangoon is absolutely typical of the way Hollywood can take a compelling story, full of genuine characters and heartfelt emotion, then hack it to tiny bits and put it back together, Frankenstein-like, into a sappy, overwrought drama that is without a soul and without a point.

The story is "based on actual events." Patricia Arquette plays Laura, an American doctor trying to find peace after the brutal murder of her husband and son. With her sister (Frances McDormand), they embark on a tour of the exotic East, including a peaceful stopover in Burma, a war-torn country ruled by military dictatorship (As they say, "In Burma, everything is illegal."). Laura's passport is lifted, and she finds herself trapped in the capital city of Rangoon, while her sister and their tour group head off to Bangkok. The Burmese pick that time to revolt, and Laura finds herself caught up in a civil war, which basically amounts to dodging bullets in the jungle while covered in mud.

Continue reading: Beyond Rangoon Review

Swimming To Cambodia Review


Essential
With Spalding Gray's recent appearance at the Paramount (in Austin), we have a perfect excuse to revisit his masterwork, the highly-acclaimed Swimming to Cambodia. If you aren't familiar with Gray, he is a singularly unique entertainer--a monologist whose films and live performances consist of his "raving, talking head" behind a desk for 90-plus minutes, and they are always completely enthralling. In Swimming to Cambodia, Gray relates his experiences during the filming of The Killing Fields, a movie in which he had a minor role. Along the way, Gray speaks ostensibly about the malignancy of the early 1970s: Vietnam, the Kent State massacre, and the genocide committed by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, on which Fields is based. However, it is through Gray's subtle parallels with the evils of today--our urban strife, sex parlors, drugs, and deviants--that Gray's message really proves that we have become callused by the past and that our innocence has truly been lost. Laurie Anderson's tribal score and Demme's perfectly-executed direction take us right inside the mind of this eccentric genius. And it's one hell of a visit.

Beaches Review


Unbearable
In the history of men going to the movies, there are few horrors as singularly terrifying as the movie Beaches. With its combination of precious tragicomedy plot, copious singing, and Bette Midler, the horror trifecta is already complete. But there's plenty more: Not only is Midler heard here singing about her tits (her words), Mayim "Blossom" Bialik plays the 11-year-old version of brazen Bette. Chills don't get much colder than this.

Watching the 1989 movie today, it's not just an unabashed chick flick, it's also revealed as a plain-old Bad Movie. For starters, it's not really about anything, instead preferring to work (or not) as a collection of loose scenes that illustrate the ups and downs of two friends (Midler and Barbara Hershey) from their pre-teens to the grave. Things happen, but not much. The film's only real plot point comes in the last act (spoilers ahead if you care), when Hershey's character croaks on us, sticking Midler with her daughter.

Continue reading: Beaches Review

Revolution #9 Review


Good
Tim McCann's Revolution #9 is a muted freak-out, an exploration of the kind of slipping-down life from which it's impossible avert your gaze.

Michael Risley plays Jackson, a seemingly normal man who out of the blue becomes convinced he is being beseiged by secret messages in e-mail spam and a TV perfume ad. After confronting the nephew of his girlfriend (Adrienne Shelly) as being in on the conspiracy, Jackson's world becomes more and more bizarre, even hunting down the photographer (Spalding Gray, in a small but fun role) who shot the perfume commercial.

Continue reading: Revolution #9 Review

Gray's Anatomy Review


Good
You know from the start that this is not your typical Spalding Gray video (there are now four in release). First off, as opposed to his typical man-behind-a-desk scenario, Gray's Anatomy begins with ten minutes of other people's monologues, and the film continually cuts back to them as it progresses. Compared to his stage version, Gray has pared out about half of the original material regarding his wild search to cure a rare eye condition, a quest which led him from a Native American Sweat Ceremony to a Filipino psychic surgeon and beyond. The guts of the story are still there, but with Soderbergh's bizarro direction, you may have a hard time plucking them out. Yet, in spite of Soderbergh and the painful lack of an audience/laugh track, Gray's story is immediately compelling, proving that once again, a talking head can truly entertain an audience. And we are given a welcome relief from the usual Laurie Anderson cacophony with a smooth score by Cliff Martinez. While I've always felt this monologue was a bit disappointing due to its lack of a real ending, Gray's Anatomy makes for required viewing for anyone wrestling with a medical condition and the angst that surrounds it. Gray fanatics and neurotics in general are also encouraged to pick up a copy.
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Beaches Movie Review

Beaches Movie Review

In the history of men going to the movies, there are few horrors as singularly...

How High Movie Review

How High Movie Review

Writing a review of a stoner movie is an exercise in futility. I mean, quality...

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