Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (Take One)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 7:30 pm

“It’s one of the greatest movies about filmmaking ever made ... A crucial work of late-sixties politics in action.”

In this groundbreaking experimental documentary, director William Greaves sets a trap for his cast and crew, who have gathered in Central Park ostensibly to shoot the break-up scene in a fictional drama called Over the Cliff. Unbeknownst to them, Greaves, an erstwhile student and teacher of method acting (or psycho-drama), is waiting to see how long it will take for them to rebel against his seemingly incompetent direction and poorly written script. “Greaves saw this as a metaphor for politics: how absurd do the rules have to be before people revolt against them?” Embodying the intertwinement of the social, the experiential, and the material, “the symbiopsychotaxiplasm is a writhing mass of conflicts, identifications, actors, audiences, as heterogeneous and chaotic as Central Park itself” (Shonni Enelow, Method Acting and Its Discontents).

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (Take One). USA 1968. Dir: William Greaves. 75 min. DCP. Courtesy Janus Films.

Programmed by Michèle Smith