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Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

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USA | 75 min. | BluRay | Dir. William Greaves

In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York's Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they're making. A couple enacts a break-up scenario over and over, a documentary crew films a crew filming the crew, locals wander casually into the frame: the project defies easy description. Yet this wildly innovative sixties counterculture landmark remains one of the most tightly focused and insightful movies ever made about making movies.

"On paper, William Greaves' art-film Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One sounds like the kind of storm-the-doors-of-perception "happening" that made going out to be entertained such a drag back in 1968... But ironically, what keeps Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One from being insufferable is that its artifice is so spectacular. The editing is snappy—and the run time is short—and when Greaves' actors really get into a groove with their dopey conversation, they can hold the audience rapt even while Greaves and his cameras are right there with them in the frame. The performances epitomize a film about moments, captured and analyzed as they happen." -Noel Murray (AV Club)

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