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Coming Apart (1969) - Milton Moses Ginsberg

Related: realism in film - 1969 - American film - the sexual revolution in the cinema

Coming Apart strongly reminds of another zeitgeist-reflecting film concerned with male angst and the war of the sexes: La Maman et la Putain. Three years before Jean Eustache's masterpiece/oddity, Ginsberg already has a very 'literary' approach to capture 'the real' and proposes duration (long takes, static camera) to cinematically fetishize reality. [Aug 2006]

``I like to photograph things as they happen,'' ``I'm interested in reality.'' --Joe

Coming Apart (1969) - Milton Moses Ginsberg


Rip Torn gives one of his great screen performances as a psychiatrist secretly filming his own mental breakdown in Milton Moses Ginsbergs classic exploration of dark eroticism and self-referential cinematic form. Anticipating the camcorder-driven, diary films of today, the entire film is shot into a mirror from a single camera angle in a one-room apartment. Psychoanalyst Joe Glazer, aka Glassman, rents a studio apartment in a towering, glass-walled skyscraper, away from his office and his pregnant wife, where he has a variety of sexual encounters with a series of women, all of which he films with a hidden camera. Although entirely scripted, this fierce, frank and explicit film seems improvised. Truly ahead of its time, Coming Apart remains a visionary and transformative piece of American cinema. --http://www.viennale.at/english/programm/filme/1854.shtml [Aug 2006]

Directed by Milton Moses Ginsberg. With Rip Torn, Sally Kirkland. Rip Torn gives a raw, ferocious performance as a Manhattan psychiatrist who secretly films a series of sexual encounters-and his own emotional breakdown-in this astonishingly bold, sexually explicit feature. Recently rediscovered, Coming Apart is a powerful time capsule that combines the rawness of cinéma vérité, the psychodrama of Cassavetes, and the formal audacity of Warhol. --http://www.ammi.org/site/screenings/content/2002/carnal.html [Mar 2005]

Time capsules can be embarrassing

Time capsules can be embarrassing things. What once seemed hip and cutting-edge can reveal, after 30 years, a naivete and smug narcissism that wasn't apparent at the time. --http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1999/07/09/DD61317.DTL [Aug 2006]

Inspired by the Maysles Brothers and D.A. Pennebaker

Ginsberg, who never made another feature before or after ``Coming Apart,'' was obviously inspired by the raw emotion of John Cassavetes' films and the cinema-vérité documentaries of the Maysles Brothers and D.A. Pennebaker. He shot in black and white, moved the camera only once, and gave his actors a wide berth for digging up and displaying their emotions. --http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1999/07/09/DD61317.DTL [Aug 2006]

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