Monster in a Box: The Movie
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"Monster in a Box" is about a lot of things. It's about the difficulty of writing a long work of prose. (The "Monster" in the title is the manuscript for a book he was working on, which I have read, by the way. The finished work is very good, although not as long as the manuscript.) It's about the film industry. It's about a fact-finding mission to Nicaraugua in the 80s. It's about Gray's fears about his own physical and mental health. It's about a trip to Russia for screenings of "Swimming to Cambodia." It's about Gray's role in a Broadway production of "Our Town." And much more.
But a summary of the content does not capture what this monologue is really about. Gray was an intense person who was trying his best to be true to his nature without being completely miserable. I saw him perform "It's a Slippery Slope" in Eugene, Oregon, in 1995 or' 96, and he was fantastic. He walked out onto the stage, sat down at a table with a glass of water, and talked for about 90 minutes. The audience was riveted. I wish a film version of that monologue was available.Read more ›
Of course, in light of Gray's suicide, the poignancy is only heightened, both in realizing the pain the man carried (and both acknowledged but somewhat covered with his humor), and in the loss we all suffered when his unique voice was snuffed out.
It seems awful to me that this DVD has gone out of print and is so absurdly expensive. With the number of fans Gray had, and the popularity of some of his later works, it seems prime material for Criterion, or a small label to make available once again. Let's hope.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My copy of this came in a three feature film set that I picked up at a big box store from their five buck bin. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mike Tarrani
This is ageless comedy. I'm still awake at 3:00 AM, because I laughed so hard I'm wired. Every so often I had to pause the disk so I wouldn't miss his words as I was laughing... Read morePublished on May 2, 2014 by Victoria Tarrani
Great movie from a very enthralling mind. Saw him a couple of times and was mesmerized but his story telling ability. We lost an odd and brilliant duck.Published on November 27, 2013 by Michael Rizzo
Dr. Gray is gone, but his twisted, hilarious therapy-in-a-box performances live on. It's hard not to become wired and anxious as he relates this tale, but like a good crash, it's... Read morePublished on January 10, 2013 by Dr. Williams
After reading "The Journals of Spalding Gray," I decided to revisit his monologues with a fresh perspective. Read morePublished on August 26, 2012 by Gareth L. Avelle
Just saw this on DVR (taped off cable) and was appalled at how intrusive the soundtrack is. Spalding Gray doesn't need a soundtrack, never mind one that is as... Read morePublished on December 14, 2009 by Criterion Collector
I thought Swimming To Cambodia was amazing when I first watched it. This doesn't even come close though. Unless you are his no.1 fan I would give it a miss.Published on January 13, 2008 by M. Rees
The MONSTER IN A BOX is Spalding Gray's thousand-plus page manuscript he struggled to complete. It provides the framework/infrastructure for this moving and hilarious monologue. Read morePublished on August 10, 2007 by Joel Herskowitz