HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Coming Apart Couch TripBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Milton Moses Ginsberg
Stars: Rip Torn, Sally Kirkland, Robert Blankshine, Darlene Cotton, Phoebe Dorin, Julie Garfield, Lois Markle, Megan McCormick, Nancy MacKay, Michael McGuire, Kevin O'Connor, Jane Marla Robbins, Lynn Swann, Joanna Vischer, Viveca Lindfors
Genre: Drama, Sex
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Psychiatrist Joe (Rip Torn) has a set up a camera in his apartment where he can film what goes on in his living room without his guests, be they patients or otherwise, being any the wiser. So his sexual conquests are recorded surreptitiously, but his approaching mental breakdown is also being documented. We see only what the camera sees, and the footage jumps around frequently, as now it is showing Joe trying to stay interested in a woman with sadomasochistic tendencies, as her weird behaviour isn't really his thing. But what is?

The writer and director of Coming Apart, Milton Moses Ginsberg (maybe best known for his satirical Werewolf of Washington), had an idea in his mind of how he wanted his debut to turn out, and having worked on T.V.'s Candid Camera must have given him a notion of how to handle his main character's mental disintegration. What Ginsberg wanted was a hard to fathom art movie like his personal favourites were, a film like Last Year at Marienbad for example, but on its initial release, a disaster on a small but nonetheless dispiriting scale for him, he could have been forgiven for thinking he had a turkey on his hands.

You might be forgiven for thinking that too, because the work is frustratingly difficult to stay engaged with. It might have helped if Joe was an interesting character, but even he succumbs to the art film's cliché of abrasive introspection. What that means is a lot of railing and yelling, and not only by Joe either, but by those he invites back to his apartment. We know he's married, we know he's a psychiatrist, but additionally we know he's full of his own self-importance judging by the fact that he's keen to record his home life for posterity.

And yet, Coming Apart won a following, a minor one but a following for all that, among those who appreciated what Ginsberg was attempting to do in his barrier-bending. The film is sexually explicit for the year it was made, depicting oral sex at one point, but is not pornographic as the static camera works against much in the way of involvement with the plight of Joe or the others, mainly women, who accompany him home. For the first twenty minutes or so, it looks to be all about the conquests, and can be quite funny in their depiction, but then Joe's mental state begins to dominate.

Unfortunately for Ginsberg, someone has already beaten him to the whole home movie angle, and had done it better: Jim McBride's David Holzman's Diary; here things are devoid of the wit necessary to stave off the tedium that inevitably hits the story. Staring at Joe's sofa, which has a huge mirror behind it so we can see what else is going on, becomes a less than fascinating experience, even if the women take their clothes off with regularity (as does Joe). The nature of the protagonists' spiral into despair grows obscure, and Sally Kirkland's Joann, who is set up as his nemesis if the way she brandishes a gun at the end is anything to go by, is as brave a performance as Torn's without really paying off. In spite of the supposed realism, there's no escaping the artificiality of Coming Apart and the self-destruction on display is wearisome. Too often one contemplates why anyone would want to film what we see.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3004 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: