Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One Photos

Movie Info

This odd film was shot in 1967 but wasn't released until 1991. The reality of the production is quite amazing. The director, who up until then had only filmed documentaries, decided that he wanted to provoke his actors and crew beyond their level of tolerance so that they would in some fashion hijack his production. Ostensibly, they are filming an arty story called "Over the Cliff," which shows the same scene of a split between husband and wife as played by five different couples from a variety of different angles. Eventually the (secretly anticipated) revolt does happen, and the cast and crew film their late-night sessions in which they discuss what can be done to save the movie. Their uncensored and quite intelligent comments were then included in the completed film along with the footage of the continuing saga of the endlessly filmed marital break-up. While the set-up is nothing like that of the contemporaneous television show Candid Camera, reviewers professed discomfort in viewing the cold manipulations which led to the desired result.
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Critic Reviews for Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

A movie from the past that's also eerily of a piece with the film culture of now and tomorrow.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Greaves's place in history is unarguable, whether it's then, now, in the future, or all of the above.

October 27, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

Made in 1968, William Greaves's fiction-nonfiction hybrid playfully takes itself apart scene by scene, code by code, in a bid to reveal how cinematic illusions are manufactured.

Full Review… | October 26, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Remains as risk-taking as ever, challenging assumptions about cinema, storytelling and the gossamer boundaries between fiction and fact.

October 26, 2005
Top Critic

It was shot as cinema verite in the rebellious spring of 1968, where those under thirty were challenging the authority figures of the Establishment.

Full Review… | April 9, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a puzzle without an answer; and the most fascinating element of all is Greaves himself.

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

Very sixties, very odd hybrid of documentary/film production/whatever. Pretty much defies description but hypnotic to watch.

Michael Troudt
Michael Troudt

this odd film shoot in the sixties but never released until 1991 well we didn't miss much as a man the director provokes his cast and crew and then films the results.

Gregory Wood
Gregory Wood

Perhaps the most striking thing about this 1968 avant-garde documentary is how modern it seems. Reality television and the internet age have desensitized us into this kind of postmodern entertainment, but the way Greaves deconstructs and pulls the curtain on the very process of film-making is still surprisingly startling and fresh. The film crew, who are part of this experiment, goes into great detail picking this entire experience apart, and it's all fascinating, groundbreaking, intelligent stuff. Still, Symbio goes into lengthy boring dry spells even for a 75 minute feature. It centers around a screen test (a breakup scene in Central Park) you will have to repeatedly watch with different actors. The writing is intentionally shitty to get some sort of response out of the test subjects. A pretty nice docu, if you can take it.

Lester Yabut
Lester Yabut

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One Quotes

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