HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
Zatoichi and the Chess Player
Ingrid Goes West
Boys from Fengkuei, The
Runestone, The
Catch Me a Spy
   
 
Newest Articles
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
   
 
  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 2774 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 film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
  Rachel Franke
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: