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May 2, 2011 | by  | in Arts Film |
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And Everything is Going Fine

One of the most versatile directors working today, Steven Soderbergh’s chameleon-like nature makes it difficult to define a ‘Steven Soderbergh Film’ even if he retains a relatively high level of artistic control and quality across his body of work.

Despite being directed by Soderbergh, And Everything is Going Fine cannot reasonably be called a Steven Soderbergh film.
It is well and truly a Spalding Gray film.

The actor Gray had performed for Soderbergh twice before. He had a small part in King of the Hill while Gray’s Anatomy is a filmed version of one of his 90-minute monologues. Six years after Gray committed suicide, Soderbergh has released this third and final offering, a documentary that combines footage from performances, interviews and home movies to provide an account of Gray’s life. Even though Gray had no input in the creation of the final film, Soderbergh essentially lets Gray, a much more gifted storyteller than he, narrate his own tale and the result is a beautifully poignant and darkly hilarious meditation on love, religion, sex, family and mortality.

Gray was a fantastically compelling speaker. During his theatrical monologues he would ask members of the audience questions, listening to them as they surprised themselves with incredible insight due to Gray’s frankness and gentle questioning. In Gray’s Anatomy he turned a feature length monologue about a bung-eye into oratory gold which was only occasionally punctuated with these admissions by other people. Even smaller amounts of time in And Everything is Going Fine are dedicated to other voices; most of its length is simply Gray speaking. The first to admit his unreliability as a narrator, the fact that his extensive recollections contain fabrications is beside the point. Substantial insight can be gained from the way in which he recounts them. In hindsight, his recollections are not only funny, compelling and clever but they also devastatingly foreshadow what is to come. The film doesn’t mention its subject’s death but one does not have to do much reading into the words of this ingenious, tragic figure to work out that everything was not, in fact, going fine.

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  1. Kairi says:

    If you’re rediang this, you’re all set, pardner!

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