Swimming to Cambodia

Swimming to Cambodia

5.0 2
Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Jonathan Demme, Spalding Gray, Sam Waterston, Ira Wheeler

     
 

By rights, an 87-minute filmed monologue should be as stimulating as watching paint dry. Ah, but when the monologist is the brilliant Spalding Gray, then the audience is in for a cerebral feast. Based on his one-man Broadway presentation, Swimming to Cambodia is a mesmerizing account of Gray's experiences while playing a small role in the 1984 film The…  See more details below

Overview

By rights, an 87-minute filmed monologue should be as stimulating as watching paint dry. Ah, but when the monologist is the brilliant Spalding Gray, then the audience is in for a cerebral feast. Based on his one-man Broadway presentation, Swimming to Cambodia is a mesmerizing account of Gray's experiences while playing a small role in the 1984 film The Killing Fields. Gray's ramblings encompass such subject as Southeast Asian politics, the availability of sex and drugs in the Third World, and even a few choice observations about New York City. The monologist sits at a desk throughout, while director Jonathan Demme makes no effort to "cinematize" the material. Still, the film is a fascinating hour and a half, and few viewers will feel the impulse to walk out of the theatre or fast-forward the VCR. Swimming to Cambodia was followed by another Spalding Gray "talking theatre" piece, Monster in a Box.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
There's nothing inherently cinematic about watching a man talk for 87 minutes. But Jonathan Demme's film version of Spalding Gray's one-man show works remarkably well, mainly because the director has enough respect for Gray's material to present it properly. Demme knows when to move in or pull back or shift the angle of his camera to match the rhythms of Gray's monologue; the photography breaks up the material visually but never calls attention to itself, much of the time simply staying put. When Gray gets rolling, Demme just stays on him, capturing the meter of his voice and the landscape of his face (and even the bits of spittle that occasionally burst from his lips). Gray's monologue is compelling and deeply felt from start to finish; it would probably have been interesting even in the hands of an inept filmmaker, and its translation by a director as skilled and intelligent as Demme allows us to appreciate Gray's gifts all the more.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/28/2013
UPC:
0826663140071
Original Release:
1987
Rating:
R
Source:
Shout Factory
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:27:00
Sales rank:
47,693

Special Features

Interview with Director Jonathan Demme

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Swimming to Cambodia
1. Chapter 1 [11:53]
2. Chapter 2 [15:26]
3. Chapter 3 [12:52]
4. Chapter 4 [10:52]
5. Chapter 5 [11:39]
6. Chapter 6 [11:17]
7. Chapter 7 [6:24]
8. Chapter 8 [4:05]

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Swimming to Cambodia 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this movies, but you gotta be ready for it. SpauldingGray will take you very high with laughter then the next minute you are down, sad, and maybe crying. then laughing again.