Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

Director: William Greaves
Screenwriters: William Greaves

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


Written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker William Greaves in 1967; but never released theatrically, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is truly an unorthodox record of another era. Described by Greaves as a mix of “drama, cinema vérité and improvisation,“ it’s both a film about making films and an introspection. Neither conventional documentary nor fiction, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is reminiscent of the ground-breaking experiments of New Wave filmmakers in Paris and New York during the 1960s. Essentially this film within a film chronicles what happens when a filmmaker doubles as a director and an “agent provocateur.” The script being filmed takes place over several days in New York’s Central Park, where a husband and wife demolish each other. But off camera a range of other events, discussions and stories occur, including eventually the “rebellion” of the film’s crew. Greaves deftly weaves fiction and documentary techniques to produce a film that is constantly entertaining and provocative. Miles Davis’s music is a perfect accompaniment for the film’s style.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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