The idea of documenting one’s life via confessional and storytelling monologues is hardly unusual in 2010, but Spalding Gray did it before almost anyone else. And he did it better; in films like Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box and Gray’s Anatomy his personal histories were a gateway to perceptive observations about life and the world around us.

Gray’s Anatomy was directed by Steven Soderbergh. After Spalding Gray’s tragic death by apparent suicide, his widow asked the director to make a documentary about her late husband. The result is And Everything is Going Fine, which is presented not as “a documentary by Steven Soderbergh,” but as “a tribute by” the director. The trailer is after the break.

The film takes the best possible approach to telling Spalding Gray’s story: it uses his own words. His widow gave Steven Soderberg a trove of tapes — 90 hours or so — from which he culled the footage in the film. The result is Spalding Gray’s life as he told it, filtered through the minds Soderbergh, producer Amy Hobby and editor Susan Littenberg.

Apple has the trailer in HD, and this synopsis:

AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE, an incisive and entertaining portrait of Spalding Gray by director Steven Soderbergh provides an intimate look at the master monologist as described by his most critical, irreverent and insightful biographer: Spalding Gray. Soderbergh distills 25 years of rare and revealing footage to construct a riveting final monologue. An official selection of the SXSW, True/False and Edinburgh film festivals, this inspired one-man show is a bittersweet display of the writer-performer’s playful and embattled intelligence, and his gift for tracking universal truths by looking himself squarely in the eye.

And Everything is Going Fine opens on December 10.

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