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Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

William Greaves
USA  1968 / 75’

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One is an experimental film about the most chaotic creative process known to man – filmmaking. The director tries to control the actors while fending off conspiracies and visits by uninvited guests on the set, including police and bums. Another film crew records these trials – an effort documented by yet another film crew.

If a documentary film is a mirror intended to reflect reality, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is a mirror set in front of another mirror resulting in an endless series of reflections, a thicket of images that reveals a glimpse of truth about the creative process.

William Greaves

William Greaves, a pioneering African-American filmmaker, was born in 1926 in New York. He graduated from a prestigious high school, studied engineering, then acting at the legendary Actors Studio, and then transferred to the National Film Board of Canada. He later worked in television as a documentary filmmaker. The cinéma vérité Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One remains his best-known film.

Selected filmography

1968 Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: ujęcie pierwsze / Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

1968 Still a Brother (doc.)

1990 That’s Black Entertainment (doc.)

2001 Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey (doc.)

2005 Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2

Related articles

Official site

Cast & Crew

director William Greaves
screenplay William Greaves
cinematography Stevan Larner, Terrence McCartney Filgate
editing William Greaves
sound Miles Davis
cast Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows, Jonathan Gordon, Robert L. Rosen, William Greaves
producer William Greaves, Manuel Melamed
production Take One Productions
sales William Greaves Production Company
source of print Janus Film
language English
colouration colour