1926-2014National Education Television). His work on Black Journal also yielded Greaves a win at the Emmys.
One of the main points of what makes William Greaves relevant was his foray into BASED cinema with the 1968 art film Symbiopsychotaxiplasm. A psychedelic journey of meta filmmaking shot in New York's Central Park. Greaves creates a giant circular meta-documentary featuring a documentary, a documentary about a documentary, and a documentary documenting a documentary about a documentary and all in the attempt of creating and capturing reality on film. The piece serves as an experiment in not only film, but psyche, texture and balance. An example of the experimentation at work is all in how the film was constructed. As the piece goes on, the various film crews that worked on the piece start to grow irritated at what they perceive is an incompetent and sexist director in Greaves. Torn between whether or not this entire situation is facsimile by Greaves (or not), the crews find themselves divided against their director. Their doubts, insecurities, complaints and weakness are captured on film and makes it into the final product. The film languished in a life of film festivals and museums and private screenings due to a lack of distribution. In the early 2000's distribution was finally found, and eventually a sequel made, using original cast members, and picking up where they left off in terms of dialogue, element and psyche. The BASED arts are a special thing, and this film along with the life of William Greaves are an exemplary example of what creativity and expression are all about. Criterion was good enough to restore and re-issue the film in a beautiful 2 disc special edition. Below is a short documentary on the history of black cinema and Greaves gives his BASED perspective and insight. Art never dies, and now Mr. Greaves will remain empowered spiritually as he has empowered us. Psyche.