Spalding Gray sits behind a desk throughout the entire film and recounts his exploits and chance encounters while playing a minor role in the film The Killing Fields. At the same time, he gives a background to the events occurring in Cambodia at the time the film was set.
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STC has a minimalist, neurotic theatricality that translated into a New Yorker 'Talk of the Town' resident vibe which in 1987 made one divine: a dash of Joe Frank,a dollop of Saturday Night Live, a touch of the Wooster Group, a sprinkle of St. Mark's or the 92nd St Y--then, stir in a few drops of confessional diarist and we have one uniquely gifted to tell his and
our tales. Spalding Gray did that very well.
"Swimming" is my least-favorite of the filmed Spalding Gray monologues, but I say that in the same way "The Dark Knight Rises" is my least-favorite "Dark Knight Trilogy" film: it's not the best, but it's still clearly the work of a master. While this monologue as a whole is more random and less narratively sound than his later pieces, the individual stories told within are golden, as is Gray's ability to tell them.