Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (Take One)

USA 1968. Dir: William Greaves. 75 min. DCP

“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 scenario of a fictional drama called Over the Cliff. Unbeknownst to them, Greaves, a 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).