Friday, August 12, 2016

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One




Written, edited, directed, and co-starring William Greaves, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One is an avant-garde documentary film about the making of a film involving a couple having a break-up. The film is an exploration into the world of acting as well as the attempts to try and make a film just as everything is being shot on the fly. Also starring Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows, Jonathan Gordon, and Bob Rosen. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One is a strange yet intriguing film from William Greaves.

The film is a documentary about the making of romantic film about a couple breaking-up where cast and crew become frustrated by their director’s ideas over the story. It’s a film that explores the process of making a film as a crew becomes unsure of what is happening as well as the fact that the filmmaker William Greaves is being a sexist dick to some of the women as well as wanting to shoot a scene in many different ways. Even as it plays this strange mix of documentary and fiction as it feature these moments of the crew led by production manager Bob Rosen speaking out about what the fuck is going on. Much of the direction is shot in a cinema verite style which employs a lot of hand-held cameras and movements that play to that feel of a documentary.

With the aid of cinematographers Terry Filgate and Stevan Larner, the film does have this grainy look in its photography while the film-within-a-film maintains that look while it tries to look like something that is more polished. Also serving as editor, Greaves would utilize multiple split-screens to showcase the many different takes and angles of what Greaves in his filmmaker role is trying to create. It does add to that sense of wonderment as well as some of the quirks that goes on in making a film while Greaves as the filmmaker would also get the actors to find their characters. Some of which are baffling where Patricia Ree Gilbert and Don Fellows are trying to see what they can do in playing this couple breaking up while saying all of these mean things to each other. Adding to the film’s offbeat tone is its music score by Miles Davis that is definitely based on jazz and jazz-fusion as it plays to its energy and Greaves‘ strange demands. Overall, Greaves create an odd yet provocative film about what it takes to make a film.

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One is a remarkable film from William Greaves. It’s a film that explores not just the world of filmmaking but also blurring the lines into what is real and what is fiction. In the end, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One is a riveting film from William Greaves.

© thevoid99 2016

2 comments:

Wendell Ottley said...

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds really interesting. Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

thevoid99 said...

You're welcome. I had it in my DVR queue and took a chance as it's one of these films that is considered important in not just American cinema but also African-American cinema.