Monster in a Box

Frames of Mind: Madness of the Muses
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 – 7:30pm
USA/UK 1992. Director: Nick Broomfield
Spalding Gray’s follow up monologue to Swimming to Cambodia

“All poets are mad.” . – Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)

“Spalding Gray may be the ultimate WASP neurotic,
analyzing his actions with an intensity that would be unpleasantly
egomaniacal if it weren’t so self-deprecatingly funny. He questions
everything and ends up more exhausted than satisfied” (Michael
Kuchwara, Associated Press). Following the success of Swimming to
Cambodia, the first film adaptation of one of his monologues,
actor/writer/performer Spalding Gray decided it was high time he
tackled a novel. And tackle it he did – writing 1,900 pages of an
endlessly expanding, semi-autobiographical account of his mother’s
suicide called Impossible Vacation.” (Published by Knopf in 1992 at a
very streamlined 228 pages, this was Gray’s first and only novel.) His
struggle to write the book – the Monster, he calls it – is ostensibly
the subject of his second filmed monologue, directed by famed
documentarian Nick Broomfield. Colour, video. 88 mins.

Frames of Mind is a monthly film event utilizing film and video
to promote professional and community education on issues pertaining
to mental health and illness.

Post-screening discussion
with Ramon Kubicek. A writer, artist, and educator, Ramon currently
teaches film history as well as art and design history at Emily Carr
Institute and Langara College. He has published essays, short fiction,
poetry, criticism, and two books on art, including One Source: A
Celebration of Spirit and Art.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky,
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development,
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.