Anthology Film Archives


August 24 – August 30

In December of 1964 in Acapulco, Mexico, a doctor pronounced Ron Rice, age 29, dead of bronchial pneumonia. In his lifetime he completed only three films (THE FLOWER THIEF, SENSELESS, and CHUMLUM) and assembled a rough cut of THE QUEEN OF SHEBA MEETS THE ATOM MAN. Yet even with this small body of work, he had a major impact on the burgeoning American independent and experimental film scene of the early 1960s and established himself as a significant figure within the New American Cinema movement. He defiantly rejected Hollywood’s three-act structures and cause-and-effect narratives for something far looser, livelier, and more sensual. Rice’s playful, uninhibited, often improvised films retain all their mischievous humor and sense of rebellion over 50 years later. We are pleased to present a full retrospective of Ron Rice’s singular body of work, including the premieres of Anthology’s new 35mm blow-up restorations of CHUMLUM and THE QUEEN OF SHEBA MEETS THE ATOM MAN (the latter highlighted with a full week-long revival engagement).

“The small body of work that Ron left will have to be compared now with the work that Jean Vigo left at his own untimely, young, and wasteful death. […] Each film is a new departure, each like no other, each breathing the poetry, unexpectedness, and imagination that marked him as one of our most original artists.” –Jonas Mekas, MOVIE JOURNAL, December 31, 1964

“In his four films, and in the unedited Mexican footage, Rice has given us an immensely powerful visual treatment; a striking representation of earthly pain; a vision of paradise.” –Fred Camper

< Back to Series