Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2 (2005) Poster

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Nice show of film crew enthusiasm and improvisation
Michal Hrabi23 July 2005
I have seen this movie on Karlovy Vary IFF and was surprised by the enthusiasm of a director and actors (and all film crew too, of course) doing this film. At first, I couldn't find out, what is this all about, like many other people in the cinema (I think that is why so many of them left during the screening). But then I realized, that it is all about improvisation and evolving a simple idea into a short, but so interesting story. Watching the actors was astonishing. Couple in a park - talk and argue ... Their situation is so special and simple too. Everything is filmed on camera, crew debating about purpose too. This mix of shots will thrill you.

This would be just one part of a project. Not bad, but nothing unusual. Just director and actors playing on the ground, but ...

... after almost 30 years, the crew meet again, continuing in the story. The people get old and changed, and so the plot. Entangled live of an actor and character. So natural. Like watching two ordinary people talking about unusual situation.

This film is not for all kind of audience. It's really interesting for those, who can enjoy the improvisation of actors and idea of continuing on work after so many years. I hope, that this film will continue again after 10 or 20 years, as a director and actors promised on festival. How does it finish? Nobody knows.
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It's like Greaves saying, "Oh, never mind."
Polaris_DiB10 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If there's ever a movie that single-handedly ruins not only its own concept, but its predecessor's, this is it in the flesh. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm 2 1/2 takes on what was started in Symbiopsychotaxiplasm 1 and ruins the concept of both of them--by explaining itself too directly, by breaking its new fourth wall, by repeating things no longer needing repetition, and even by adding star power.

The real success of Symbiopsychotaxiplasm 1 rests in the fact that no matter how many times it reveals itself, breaks its fourth wall, falls into self-reflexivity, etc., it still leaves the question of "Is this real or is this fake?" to the audience, thus making its bigger question of "What is the role of the director?" much more important because the audience has to figure out whether it's being had or not. Such approach doesn't work here, because now William Greaves both explains what he did (understandable) and then does it again (! Fool me once...).

The key problem here? The same crew members taking up the same roles, sitting down in a similar room having the same debates. No longer does that use have the protest form the original 60s film has--now it only has the 00s pretentiousness and naval-gazing. No longer does Symbiopsychotaxiplasm feel like its questioning film roles, norms, and narratives, as now it's already given its answer and the roles have become reinforced. It's literally a disappointment, a "well, never mind," to the questions the first movie raised. And Buscemi appearing as producer, inquirer, and potential film editor only shows the interest of the overbearer in the construction, no longer giving the crew its unique chance to uprise and take the wheel, so to speak.

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