Swimming To Cambodia - Part 1

Please watch fellow LL'ers, I'm telling you - you WILL get sucked in to this story. It is amazing.

Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia is a 1987 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Demme-directed performance film. The film is a performance of Spalding Gray's monologue which centered around such themes as his trip to Southeast Asia to create the role of the U.S. Ambassador's aide in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Fields_%28film%29, the Cold War, Cambodia, Year Zero and his search for his "perfect moment".

Swimming to Cambodia was originally a theatre piece on which Gray spent two years working. The original running time of the performance was four hours long and took place over two nights.

Swimming to Cambodia won Gray an Obie award.

In 2001, Gray took Swimming to Cambodia back to the stage in Los Angeles, Chicago and Albany, New York.

The soundtrack for this film was composed and performed by en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Anderson_%28performance_artist%, who would also score Gray's follow-up film, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_in_a_Box.

In June 2001, he suffered severe injuries in a car crash while on vacation in Ireland. "In the crash, Gray, who had always battled his hereditary depression and bipolar tendencies, suffered a badly broken hip, leaving his right leg almost immobilized, and a fracture in his skull that left a jagged
scar on his forehead.He now suffered not only from depression but also from a brain injury. During surgery in which a titanium plate was placed over the break in his skull, surgeons removed dozens of bone fragments from his frontal cortex.

Shattered both physically and emotionally, he spent the ensuing months experimenting with every therapy imaginable."

On January 11, 2004, Gray, suffering from increasingly deep episodes of clinical depression in part
as a result of his injuries, was declared missing.

It is believed that Gray jumped off the side of the Staten Island Ferry. In light of a suicide
attempt in 2002, and that his mother had killed herself in 1967, suicide was suspected.

On March 7, 2004, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York reported that Gray's body was discovered by two men and pulled from the East River. One of the men subsequently gave an interview providing details of the accidental discovery.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spalding_Gray#cite_note-9

It was reported that Gray was working on a new monologue at the time of his death, and that the subject matter of the piece – the Ireland car crash and his subsequent attempts to recover from his injuries – might have triggered his final bout of depression.