Coming Apart has the kind of format and style that virtually guaranteed failure in finding distribution and a mainstream audience. We are conditioned by traditional film-making that use formal editing techniques and camera work to tell a story with a plot, a formal beginning and a formal ending and when a film goes against an accepted style, critics and audiences can't understand it. This entire film is the result of a hidden camera (in a piece of artwork) facing a couch and behind the couch, a wall-sized mirror that reflects his windows overlooking a Manhattan skyline. This device minimizes the inherent claustrophobia of just photographing a man sitting on his couch. It is never explained why he is doing this. The 60s was the decade of the grindhouse sexploitation film, the precursor to hardcore porn. They could be divided into three categories. The nudies, the ghoulies and the roughies. Coming Apart superficially resembles a sexploitation roughie--grim, moody, downbeat, shot in black & white featuring bizarre personalities and twisted sexuality. The roughies showed women being routinely slapped around, raped and verbally abused. But there are art-house and technically experimental film-making aspirations in Coming Apart that make it far more than a psycho-drama. The near static presentation could have been a filmed stage play. A young Sally Kirkland gives one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen. Her tirade at the end is hypnotic in its non-theatrical realism and ferocity. (I had to watch it several times.) Rip Torn is a master at brutal outbursts, the cold manipulation of women and a troubled, savagely tempered personality. He's perfect for the role of a psychiatrist who manipulates every woman who enters his sphere of orbit for his own uses, and not just for sex, but for some kind of perverse control and personal power. (Like in traditional sexploitation films, the men have sex with their underwear on.) Ginsburg says in the extras that the film was carefully scripted yet the dialogue sounds improvised and spontaneous. Sally tells Glassman that he "treats women like castrating women treat men." This one line is the key to the film. The lightbulb moment came to me about 20 minutes in. This movie foreshadowed, by over 30 years, the YouTube generation of millions of people at their computers recording themselves in a room with a video web-camera.
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Joe is a psychiatrist who puts a hidden camera behind his couch, facing a wall sized mirror in order to document a number of women who come and go. Obsessed with a former lover, Joe intends to perform and record an "experiment in contemporary sexual aberration." In the process, Joe documents his own mental breakdown as well as a number of sexually volatile encounters with the women who come to see him.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 23, 2022 at 07:41 PM