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Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 26 October 2005 (USA)
Filmmaker William Greaves auditioned acting students for a fictional drama, while simultaneously shooting the behind-the-scenes drama taking place.


William Greaves


William Greaves
2 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Patricia Ree Gilbert Patricia Ree Gilbert ... Self - Actress Testing for Alice
Don Fellows ... Self - Actor Testing for Freddy
Jonathan Gordon Jonathan Gordon ... Self - Soundman
Bob Rosen Bob Rosen ... Self - Production Manager (as Bob Rosen)
William Greaves ... Self - Director


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 Huggo

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Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #360. See more »


Viktor - Homeless Painter: We have controlled press today. Controlled press! It's called controlled press, now, and I'm well aware of it.
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Crazy Credits

Coming Soon Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take Two See more »


Followed by Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2 (2005) See more »


In A Silent Way
Written by Joe Zawinul
Performed by Miles Davis
See more »

User Reviews

The magic of film-making
16 July 2009 | by moviemanMASee all my reviews

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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William Greaves




English | French | Italian

Release Date:

26 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Take One Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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