Gray's Anatomy

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Steven Soderbergh

REVIEWED: 10-27-97

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 10 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 cop.

--Christopher Null

Full Length Reviews
Gray's Anatomy

Other Films by Steven Soderbergh
Out of Sight
The Limey

Film Vault Suggested Links
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At The Circus

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