Secret Psychic Cinema is excited to host curator Herb Shellenberger to present a program on filmmakers Jean Vigo and Ron Rice.
Jean Vigo’s Zero de Conduite (1933), and Ron Rice’s The Flower Thief (1960) will be screened on 16mm.
Note that the event begins at 8!
About the program:
On December 31, 1964, Jonas Mekas reported in The Village Voice, the “too shocking, too sudden, too unexpected… news that Ron Rice is dead.” One of the leading lights of the New American Cinema died suddenly and tragically in Mexico at the tender age of 29. Mekas goes on to say: “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 and wasteful death” at the age of 29 from tuberculosis.
Rice and Vigo were romantics, dreamers who took to the cinema to express the poetic fantasy they held in their minds and spirits. Their respective bodies of work interweave and reflect off of each other in profoundly exciting ways, though other than a few brief comparisons, they have rarely been considered alongside each other in writings or screenings.
Perhaps the best comparison between the two filmmakers’ work can be found in Vigo’s Zero de Conduite (1933) and Rice’s The Flower Thief (1960). Vigo’s film shows a group of schoolchildren banding together in a boarding school against the repressive headmasters. Rice shows future Warhol superstar Taylor Mead as a beatnik naïf, wandering through a fairyland San Francisco, discovering the architecture, culture and people of the city like a newborn taking in everything fresh. The two films are portraits of the wonder and exuberance of youth, the spirit of the outsider and cine-poetic sequences of visual fantasy.
Herb Shellenberger is a curator and writer originally from Philadelphia and based in London. He has curated screenings at institutions such as Arnolfini (Bristol), Irish Film Institute, Light Industry (Brooklyn), Lightbox Film Center (Philadelphia), LUX (London), New York University, Taipei Center for Contemporary Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco). Since 2016, he has been Associate Programmer for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK). He is a graduate of the Central Saint Martins/LUX MRes Moving Image programme, has lectured on film and contemporary art at museums, universities and art spaces internationally, and has written for publications including Art-AgendaArt Monthly and The Brooklyn Rail. He curated the series “Independent Frames: American Experimental Animation in the 1970s + 1980s” which premiered at Tate Modern and is touring internationally. In winter 2018, he has curated an exhibition at The Maslow Collection (Scranton, PA) and co-programmed the series “COMMON VISIONS” with Almudena Escobar López, a film series on collaborative practices presented by the Flaherty Seminar at Anthology Film Archives.
Secret Psychic Cinema’s third season is supported in part by a Grit Fund Grant from The Contemporary.

Event location:

The Red Room at Normals Books and Records 425 E. 31st Street Baltimore, MD 21218

The Red Room is a volunteer-run space in Baltimore dedicated to mind-expanding experimental culture, headquartered at Normals Books and Records.