Underground Film Journal

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Berks Filmmakers: Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

Illustration of a film reel

Nov. 24
7:30 p.m.
Albright College Center for the Arts
J. Warren Klein Memorial Lecture Hall
13th and Bern Streets
Reading, PA 19612

Hosted by: Berks Filmmakers Inc.

In 1968, filmmaker William Greaves hired a crew to film a scene in Central Park for a movie. In the scene, a man and a woman break off a relationship. Meanwhile, Greaves hired another crew to film the original crew filming the scene. Then, Greaves hired a third crew to film the first two crews and the actors and any befuddled passers-by.

The result is the feature-length Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One. Greaves would also at times wield a camera on his own to capture the chaos that resulted from three crews who can’t figure out what they’re really supposed to be shooting — and why.

For more background, info and analysis on the film, please read Amy Taubin’s essay on the Criterion website. William Greaves has had a long and illustrious career making documentaries for TV and film since originally directing Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One. In 1980, he was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. For more info on Greaves, please visit the filmmaker’s official site.

The film is also available on DVD from Criterion.

Watch the trailer:

DVD cover featuring people sitting in Central Park