Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

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Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One: Directed by William Greaves. With Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows, Jonathan Gordon, Bob Rosen. Filmmaker William Greaves auditioned acting students for a fictional drama, while simultaneously shooting the behind-the-scenes drama taking place.

“It would be hard to put a numerical rating on this movie, as it is essentially a movie created inside out, with the `actionu0026#39; being performed by the `actorsu0026#39; as the hard nut on the inside, and the more free-flowing production process as the body of the film – this process being captured on several 35mm cameras rolling continually — on the outside. Not to say there is nothing important about the `action,u0026#39; which centers on an arguing couple in Central Park – in fact, there is a certain anarchy of purpose in the two charactersu0026#39; criticism of each other (using pithy, well-worn movie expressions) that mirrors a knowing anarchy in the production loosely watched over by Greaves. The film is open-ended, suggesting that the production process will continue even after the `failureu0026#39; of more than one pair of actors to claim their roles for themselves. There is something about Symbiopsychotaxiplasm that suggests failure, whether itu0026#39;s the suspicion of the crew that Greaves lacks direction, or the sort of floundering behavior of the actors when they are not reading their lines. But that too is part of Greaves vision. Early on in the film one of the production staff laments Greavesu0026#39; opacity, saying that the director tends to answer questions with very vague statements that make one wish they hadnu0026#39;t asked the question in the first place. It is this mysteriousness within Greaves (`what is he doing?u0026#39;) that gives the film its skeleton, and makes it much more than simply a Happening in the Park.”


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