Criterion Collection: Gray's Anatomy [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Gray's Anatomy (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
If you can manage to suffer through an excruciating series of painful tales of eye trauma, then you might find yourself caught up and swept away in Spalding Gray's filmed monologue Gray's Anatomy. This amusing and capricious film is a bit different from his previous Swimming to Cambodia, which focused on his role in the film The Killing Fields. This time, Gray finds himself experiencing "disturbances" in his left eye, and after he is diagnosed by ophthalmologists as having a "macular pucker," he sets out to find a cure without having to set foot in a New York hospital. Raised as a Christian Scientist and fearing the loss of his eyesight, Gray dramatizes his journey in search of alternative treatments. Along the way, he calls the Christian Scientists' hot line, visits so-called Native American shamans, eye nutritionists, and Filipino psychic surgeons, all in the name of relief. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies and Videotape), the one-man show is injected with movement by his inventive use of sets, lighting, and creative camera angles. The pacing can sometimes be frantic due to Gray's excited dialogue and self-examination, but as a result, it succeeds in holding you until the mirthful end. --Michele Goodson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A macular "pucker" leaves Gray virtually blind in one eye. Born into Christian Science, Gray leaves the church when his CS practitioner demands he renounce allopathic medicine to receive help. Gray's breathless journeys through alternative healing remind us that we all face mortality at any cost, and that no religious or philosopical system will spare us the inevitability of suffering or dying.
What I loved most about this film were Gray's frequent outbursts of humor -- framed in frustration, delivered in sentences which resonate like poetry in the mind, this guy rages -- quite literally -- against the dying of the light. And I would add that this is a film best viewed late at night.
While Soderbergh's direction is occasionally heavy-handed and self- conscious, it is still creative and ambitious and will never disqualify this film from classic status.
The movie doesn't benefit from the opening montage of "eye horror stories" delivered by subjects who almost lost their sight, and who occasionally make an unwelcome visit into Gray's monologue. Happily, Gray gets 'round them.
The man had a brilliant, brilliant mind and a great heart. Watch this, and the only thing you risk is awareness of his absence, and it is a sad feeling.
I just loved this movie, or should I say: I loved this mirror.
I don't know where a few of the other reviewers were coming from with their critical comments, but let me make a few things clear: (1) the cutting to comments from other people in the film took up no more than about 10 minutes, were well-timed, and made for a nice change of pace, (2) there was only one instance of profanity that I remember, and that one line added much to the telling of the story, and (3)Soderbergh's use of lighting and different camera angles created a beautiful flow to the film, often softening the frantic style of Gray's presentation. It certainly did not detract from the impact of the film. A few times he used a fuzzy or distorted view to create a bit of brilliant irony as Gray discussed his neuroses about losing his eyesight.