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Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Two Takes – (The Criterion Collection)

By William Greaves

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Two Takes – (The Criterion Collection)

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Started Watching:
9th June 2010
Finished watching:
9th June 2010

Review

Rating: 9

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is an experimental film unlike any other experimental film you are likely to see, because it is not just playing and experimenting with the medium, techniques, meaning, and impact of filmmaking, it is also a social experiment, where only the director really knows what’s going on—and because it is an experiment, the outcome is uncertain. (Never mind that because it’s all being filtered through the instrumentation of filmmaking it’s all “Heisenberg uncertain!” LOL) The social and political hot-topics of the time the film was made (many still with us today) all show up too, but in some very sly and unexpected ways. You have to be willing to do one of two things to really “enjoy” this film (and yes, I “really enjoyed” it—it was an absolute hoot on so many levels, while also being intellectually stimulating, and fly-on-the wall voyeuristically fascinating.) Either you must watch the hour-long documentary extra first (which I don’t recommend in this case as it will take you, the viewer, outside of the direct experience of being a very real part of the experiment), or, you must accept ahead of time that you, and everybody in the film itself, are subjects of the experiment, and just decide to “go with it!” Expect to be confused! Expect to be annoyed! I won’t say much more, because I think half the fun is the WTF? transforming into the Aha! No, not everyone will like it, or “get it.” This is absolutely, positively a “not for everyone” film! But for cinephiles, I think it’s a “must see,” and for the intrepid and adventurous viewer, it’s really marvelous fun. After it’s over, make sure you watch the documentary—a very effective “debriefing” for the film itself, and for those not familiar with William Greaves, a concise introduction to a brilliant “Renaissance Man.” 10-06-09

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