In Manhattan’s Central Park, a film crew directed by William Greaves is shooting a screen test with various pairs of actors. It’s a confrontation between a couple: he demands to know what’s wrong, she challenges his sexual orientation. Cameras shoot the exchange, and another camera records Greaves and his crew. Sometimes we watch the crew discussing this scene, its language, and the process of making a movie. Is there such a thing as natural language? Are all things related to sex? The camera records distractions – a woman rides horseback past them; a garrulous homeless vet who sleeps in the park chats them up. What’s the nature of making a movie? Read More »
Filmmaker William Greaves auditioned acting students for a fictional drama, while simultaneously shooting the behind-the-scenes drama taking place.
Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote:
Seeing this singular 1968 American experimental feature by William Greaves a second time (on video; the first time was in 1980, in its original 35-millimeter format) has led me to value it more, though arguably the fact that it loses relatively little impact on video constitutes one of its limitations. Greaves, a pioneering black actor whose career stretches back to postwar films made for black audiences as well as the underrated Hollywood feature Lost Boundaries, went on to direct over 200 documentaries, host and executive produce NET’s Black Journal, and teach acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Read More »