A.O. Scott of The New York Times has a brief review of a new documentary about Spalding Gray, the man we borrowed the phrase “bark, bugs, leaves, and lizards” from (yes, that’s his serial comma):
The story he has to tell is, on one level, a rambling, anecdotal account of a more or less ordinary life, its tragedies, absurdities and frustrations offered with sincerity and charm. In an era of rampant memoirism and multimedia T.M.I., Mr. Gray might seem like a pioneer or just another old guy rattling on about himself, but Mr. [Steven] Soderbergh uses his own artistic resources to remind us of Mr. Gray’s uniqueness as an artist. A natural actor (praised early on for his uncanny sense of timing), he was also an extraordinary writer, perhaps the last in a long line of introspective, eccentric, mildly melancholic New Englanders going back to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Spaulding–to watch his work is to think you know him on a first-name basis–was one of the good ones.