Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Monster In a Box

Monster In a Box (Nick Broomfield, 1992) [7]

I liked Swimming to Cambodia so much, I knew I would eventually catch up with this film at some time. Spalding Gray still is entertaining in his monologue here but he jumps around trying to tell too much. While Swimming to Cambodia really focused on Gray's experience while in Cambodia, here he goes from his book (the aforementioned monster), moving to L.A. to do a stage production, expeditions to Nicaragua and Russia, and acting in Our Town. While Gray does keep a thread intertwining between all these tangents some how, it comes across as shambling and less focused than his prior film. It doesn't help that Nick Broomfield attempts to do too much with light and sound effects. Gray is interesting enough as a speaker with all the emotion he himself puts into his monologue that Broomfield's excess of sound and lighting effects overwhelms the power of Gray's words at times. Still, Spalding Gray is an interesting enough storyteller that I can't help but be entertained. He exists on a fine line between real emotional punch and breezy conversation that keeps him from being too frivolous or too self-involved.

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