A film by Hollis Frampton. Made in 1971.
"Critical mass shows a young New York couple arguing about their relationship. The film starts on the soundtrack; the screen is blank. Initially the dialogue is cut up in such a way that the couple seems to stutter as they talk (Frampton adds the stutter to such recent perceptual constructs as Warhol stares, Kubelka’s flicker and Makes’ glimpse). Lines of dialogue are cut into before they are finished, partially repeated, stopped again, repeated, until the phrase or sentence is finished and a new one begins in the same manner. A line like: I’m going to leave you, comes out: I’m goin’… going to lea…. to leave you… save you. An’…. When the image appears, we see the couple arguing, standing against a white wall. The picture is cut to reflect the stutter, repeating itself and going on, finishing one phrase and starting another. Later the stutter effect disappears and a second structural principle emerges. The sound and image go out of synchronization so that we hear the boy speaking while we see the girl’s mouth moving and vice versa. The degree of de-synchronization varies mysteriously, disconcerting us.