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Gray's Anatomy (Criterion Collection) (1997)

Spalding Gray , Steven Soderbergh  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Gray's Anatomy (Criterion Collection) + Swimming To Cambodia + And Everything Is Going Fine (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Spalding Gray
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007N5YJVQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New high definition digital transfer, supervised by director Steven Soderbergh
  • New interviews with Soderbergh and cowriter Renee Shafransky
  • A Personal History of the American Theater, a monologue by Spalding Gray
  • Theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin

  • Editorial Reviews

    One of the great raconteurs of stage and screen, Spalding Gray (Swimming to Cambodia), came together with one of cinema’s boldest image-makers, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), for Gray's Anatomy, a spellbinding adaptation of Gray’s 1993 monologue of the same name (cowritten with Renée Shafransky). In it, Gray, with typical sardonic relish, chronicles his arduous journey through the diagnosis and treatment of a rare and alarming ocular condition. For the monologist, this experience occasioned a meditation on illness and mortality, medicine and metaphysics; for the filmmaker, it was a chance to experiment with ways of bringing his subject’s words to brilliant, eye-opening life.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Spalding Gray at his best August 3, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    Incredible writer and monologuist Spalding Gray takes us on an incredible journey, around the world and through his soul. Though based on his his attempts to avoid dangerous eye surgery, the story is really about meeting fascinating characters and Gray's own fascinating neuroses. If the idea of a monologue sounds boring to you -- basically Gray sitting and telling you a story -- I especially challenge you to try this out.
    While dry, Gray's humor keeps you laughing out loud. You'll find it mesmerizing, and at the end of your own journey through the film, changed for the better. Highly recommended.
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    16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good ol' Gray...with something new! November 22, 1998
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    As good as or better than "Swimming to Cambodia" and "Monster in a Box", except this time there is more. Surreal sceneries and sounds are added for effect, as well as short testimonials by "people on the street" describing their own unusual eye ailments. Gray always fascinated me...his unique perspective on life and the way he deals with it. I would also recommend reading "Impossible Vacation" (the subject of "Monster in a Box"). Very few books can affect me like that did.
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    15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Feast for the Middle Aged Male March 22, 2004
    By Birdman
    Spalding Gray's death has left us poorer than when we started. How evident this is after viewing this edgy, moving, often riotous monologue directed by Stephen Soderbergh.
    A macular "pucker" leaves Gray virtually blind in one eye. Born into Christian Science, Gray leaves the church when his CS practitioner demands he renounce allopathic medicine to receive help. Gray's breathless journeys through alternative healing remind us that we all face mortality at any cost, and that no religious or philosopical system will spare us the inevitability of suffering or dying.
    What I loved most about this film were Gray's frequent outbursts of humor -- framed in frustration, delivered in sentences which resonate like poetry in the mind, this guy rages -- quite literally -- against the dying of the light. And I would add that this is a film best viewed late at night.
    While Soderbergh's direction is occasionally heavy-handed and self- conscious, it is still creative and ambitious and will never disqualify this film from classic status.
    The movie doesn't benefit from the opening montage of "eye horror stories" delivered by subjects who almost lost their sight, and who occasionally make an unwelcome visit into Gray's monologue. Happily, Gray gets 'round them.
    The man had a brilliant, brilliant mind and a great heart. Watch this, and the only thing you risk is awareness of his absence, and it is a sad feeling.
    I just loved this movie, or should I say: I loved this mirror.
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    4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The art of story telling September 19, 2004
    This is a wonderful example of the 'gift of gab' - that is, the art of telling a story. Spalding Gray has a story to tell - mind you, the plot is not nearly as interesting as, say, a Jedi Knight fighting a battle in a galaxy far, far away. It is not so much what he has to say, but how he says it. If one of your favorite childhood memories includes sitting around a campfire listening to someone spinning a yarn about a headless ghost, then you might enjoy this more adult version of a scary story. Substitute the encounter with a headless horseman with an even more frightening trip to see a doctor to diagnose an incurable medical condition and you may start to understand this movie. It was fascinating listening to his tangential logic, flashbacks, and digressions of a gifted story teller. It is also somewhat of an insight into the mind Spalding Gray, whose favorite story was the life experience he gained by walking around Washington Square Park several times, breathing in all of life's drama.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Gray Matter December 29, 2001
    By A Customer
    Another triumph for Spalding Gray. I love a good storyteller, and Gray is in typical form here, frantically explaining (occasionally in a little too much detail) his journey through various alternative healing methods to correct his rare eye affliction.
    I don't know where a few of the other reviewers were coming from with their critical comments, but let me make a few things clear: (1) the cutting to comments from other people in the film took up no more than about 10 minutes, were well-timed, and made for a nice change of pace, (2) there was only one instance of profanity that I remember, and that one line added much to the telling of the story, and (3)Soderbergh's use of lighting and different camera angles created a beautiful flow to the film, often softening the frantic style of Gray's presentation. It certainly did not detract from the impact of the film. A few times he used a fuzzy or distorted view to create a bit of brilliant irony as Gray discussed his neuroses about losing his eyesight.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars Appealing with a touch of scraping May 11, 2002
    Format:VHS Tape
    Unlike Demme's approach with Swimming to Cambodia, which, like Stop Making Sense, tried to capture the essence of a live performance, Soderberg tries to get inside Gray's head, crawl out and display what's in there.
    That I prefer Swimming to Cambodia is not too much of a criticism as Gray's Anatomy has a lot going for it.
    The whole thing is carried by Spalding's energy, wit and charisma and if the stylistic, visual tropes detract from Spalding's natural performance they are at least imaginatively conceived.
    I liked the vox pops inserts, but (having read the book version) I was dismayed that their addition seemed to mean that a whole chunk of the monologue was ommited (Gray's marriage to Renee).
    However, on the basis of Grays Anatomy and Swimming to Cambodia (I have Monster in a box on order) I wish more of his monologues were filmed - one a year would do me fine.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    What can one say about Gray's Anatomy?
    Published 3 months ago by Julie L. Baggett
    5.0 out of 5 stars once you get it, you will never forget it
    once you get it, you will never forget it: to wit, how unique and singular it is to be a great storyteller. we discover this by the way this show opens. Read more
    Published 22 months ago by carol irvin
    4.0 out of 5 stars "Gray's Anatomy" is an enjoyable and delightful story by Spalding Gray...
    Monologue, a word that is defined as a soliloquy; a dramatic sketch performed by one actor; the routine of a stand-up comic.

    The late Spalding Gray. Read more
    Published 23 months ago by Dennis A. Amith (kndy)
    4.0 out of 5 stars Gray's Anatomy
    Though not as on target as his earlier films "Swimming to Cambodia" and "Monster in a Box," this tale of Spalding's "macular pucker" and the many odd and outrageous ways he sought... Read more
    Published on June 3, 2011 by Jay Jones
    4.0 out of 5 stars Gray's Anatomy.
    If you enjoyed "Swimming to Cambodia", then you will enjoy this film also. If you haven't scene "Swimming to Cambodia" buy this but watch "Swimming to Cambodia" first.
    Published on September 1, 2005 by Conor J. Murphy
    4.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovered for the First Time
    I had seen a brief bit of this when I was younger and always wondered what movie that was where a guy just sits there talking to a camera. Read more
    Published on December 2, 2003 by Michael Kaiser
    5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
    entertaining, well fleshed out with the stories of other patients - Spalding Gray at his best.
    Published on September 10, 2003 by Linda R. Petrilli
    5.0 out of 5 stars Better every time I watch it
    This is the story of a very neurotic man who can't cope with having something wrong with his eye. I loved this movie. Spalding Gray is funny, smart, insightful, and full of angst. Read more
    Published on September 7, 2002
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