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Criterion Press Release: Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Two Takes by William Greaves (Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, the pioneering 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 breakup 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, expanded thirty-five years later by its unconventional follow-up, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take 2½. The “sequel” sees Take One actors Audrey Henningham and Shannon Baker reunited in a more personal, metatheatrical exploration of the effects of the passage of time on technology, the artistic process, and relationships—real and fabricated.

FILM INFO
  • William Greaves
  • United States
  • 174 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1/1.78:1
  • English
  • Spine #360
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • High-definition digital transfers of both films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray
    SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE ONE (1968 • 75 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio)
    SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE 2½ (2005 • 99 minutes • Color • Monaural • 1.78:1 aspect ratio)
  • Discovering William Greaves, a 2006 documentary on Greaves’s career, featuring Greaves, his wife and coproducer Louise Archambault, actor Ruby Dee, filmmaker St. Clair Bourne, and film scholar Scott MacDonald
  • Interview from 2006 with actor Steve Buscemi
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin and production notes by Greaves for Take One
Cover by Neil Kellerhouse

December 8, 2020
 

Ronald Epstein

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