spalding-gray

Slamdance 2010 (the other Park City, UT film fest)  is where you’ll want to be to catch the world premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming documentary, And Everything Is Going Fine. The doc concerns the life and work of Spalding Gray, who made a career as a writer, actor, and monologist. Gray and Soderbergh worked together previously on the 1996 film, Gray’s Anatomy, as well as 1993’s King of the Hill .

While at Slamdance, Soderbergh will also take part in the Filmmaker’s Summit, which will gather filmmakers to “collectively craft a new charter for storytelling and content distribution, with and by the global filmmaking community, that can succeed by using new technology.”

Slamdance co-founder Peter Baxter is unsurprisingly glad to have Soderbergh involved with the festival once again:

Steven Soderbergh represents the spirit of Slamdance. This year, he’s fully immersed himself within our community in support of the indie filmmaker by debuting an independently made film about a renowned independent artist.

This documentary was originally announced in March 2005, about a year after Gray’s suicide in 2004. I’m not entirely familiar with Gray’s work, but this Playbill announcement serves as a good summary of his work and later life. From that announcement:

Many of his works took a comic look with his inability to cope with his own profession and life. Swimming to Cambodia grew out of a trying trip to southeast Asia to film a supporting role in The Killing Fields. Monster in a Box centered on his difficulty in finishing his first novel—a book about how he found it impossible to take a successful vacation. Gray’s Anatomy concerned his descent into alternative medicine to treat an eye condition. And It’s a Slippery Slope dealt frankly with his decision to leave longtime companion and collaborator Renee Shafransky (who he mentioned often in his monologues) to marry the young Kathy Russo, with whom he was expecting a child.

First Showing also got some good info from Soderbergh regarding the project back in September. Says Soderbergh:

It’s a new monologue in a way. It’s just him. There’s footage from throughout his life, but he’s the only voice in it. I didn’t interview anybody or get any new footage. So once I decided that’s what we were going to do, we were able to focus on it. It doesn’t feel like a normal documentary.

[Source: Variety, Photo: Noah Greenberg, Boston Globe]

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