This film is an experimental mix of documentary and fiction. The film crew travels from the Thai countryside to Bangkok, asking the people they encounter along the way to continue a story ... See full summary »
This documentary presents clips from black films from 1929 through 1957. Musical performers include Paul Robeson (in Song of Freedom), Bessie Smith (St. Louis Blues), Eubie Blake and the ... See full summary »
G. William Jones
Paul Robeson narrates a mix of dramatizations and archival footage about the bill of rights being under attack during the 1930s by union busting corporations, their spies and contractors. ... See full summary »
Filmmaker William Greaves is shooting a series of screen tests in New York City's Central Park for the two leads of a feature length movie, with the working title of "Over the Cliff". Simultaneously, he has a documentary filmmaking crew filming the behind the scenes making of the movie. In addition to seeing these two sets of footage (the film and the film of the film), the viewer also sees footage of a third film crew filming the these two in relation to what is happening overall as they film in the park while real life goes on around them, which in Bill's mind is part of the realism of the movie. "Over the Cliff" itself has no plot and no full script but only a working concept of sexuality being the movie's theme and snippets of scripted dialogue. This unstructured approach is to give the movie a sense of realism. The actors imply as much, but many of the crew, discussing in Grieves-less bullpen sessions, believe Greaves is unfocused and inept at what he is doing, while a minority ... Written by
This is a documentary unlike any other. It has so many layers and shows us so much that trying to analyze it all at once is nearly impossible. Documentarian William Greaves shows us the process of film-making from a different perspective. We see the struggles of the actors, the director, the sound crew, and everybody else trying to hang in there and make this film successful. If this was just about a movie being made it would be ordinary. What Greaves does is make it more complex by having a crew film the actors, and then this will be filmed by another crew, only to have another crew film the whole thing. Three cameras, each with a different goal. It has an almost dizzying affect on you but at the same time is exciting. I like the parts where the crew organizes together and discusses what is going on. Even they are somewhat in the dark as to what Greaves is trying to do. Half see this as an experiment while the other half sees it as a chaotic and confusing failure. No matter what side you choose, you can't argue that Greaves doesn't get you involved in this process.
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