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Swimming to Cambodia 1987 ***

 

Spalding Gray was an actor and writer who appeared is small roles in films like Kate & Leopold, Beaches and Stars And Bars. In 1987, Jonathan Demme filmed him delivering a lengthy monologue which makes up the body of this film. Seated behind a desk, Gray discusses his role in The Killing Fields, but uses it as a jumping off point for a wonderfully personal series of anecdotes about the film-making process, his sexuality, and Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia. Gray committed suicide in 2004, but Swimming To Cambodia shows a learned, erudite man at the top of his game, funny, charming and politically astute in his observations of the madness of film-making. It may be nothing more than a monologue, but Swimming To Cambodia is a film that, like Gray himself, should never be forgotten.

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