Loading Events

« All Events

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

July 9 @ 6:00 pm

CCA’s monthly Closer Looks series, July 2024
Presented by Justin Clifford Rhody

In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they’re making. A couple enacts a break-up scenario over and over, a documentary crew films a crew filming the crew, locals wander casually into the frame: the project defies easy description. Yet this wildly innovative sixties counterculture landmark remains one of the most tightly focused and insightful movies ever made about making movies.

Greaves creates a giant circular meta-documentary featuring a documentary, a documentary about a documentary, and a documentary documenting a documentary about a documentary, and all in an attempt to create and capture reality on film. To add to the coherence or incoherence of the piece, the film is also edited untraditionally, with the different cameras’ various shots intercut in split screens so that all three sets of simultaneous footage display the same sequence but from three perspectives.

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm was unable to find mainstream distribution and instead toured various festivals and museum screenings, gaining something of a cult status amongst those filmmakers who had seen it. It eventually caught the eye of famous actor and filmmaker Steve Buscemi who saw it at a screening at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. Ten years later, Buscemi and director Steven Soderbergh teamed up to secure widespread distribution for the film.

William Greaves worked as an independent filmmaker 1964-2005 and is considered the dean of African American filmmakers. He began his career as an actor in the late 1940s but, frustrated by the lack of substantive roles for black actors, decided to work behind the camera to change that. He has produced and directed four feature films and produced scores of documentary films and television programs. His films have won more than 70 international film festival awards, 4 Emmy nominations, and an Emmy. His experimental 1968 film Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One is a film buff favorite.

1050 Old Pecos Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505 United States
+ Google Map
(505) 982-1338
View Venue Website