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Experimental Film and Video Archive
  Experimental Film and Video
Friday, February 28, 7pm, $4

The Flower Thief
Experimental Film & Video Series

Ron Rice, 16mm/DVD, b&w/sound, 75min., 1960
Starring Taylor Mead

To mark the loss of Taylor Mead (1924-2013), the antic and sagacious nelly who was the Chaplin of the Underground, Woodland Pattern and the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival will console themselves with the unspooling of Mead's first film appearance, Ron Rice's proto-hippie The Flower Thief (16mm, 75min., Taylor Mead 1960), which features Mead as our flaneur-guide through San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. In 1962, in the Village Voice, Jonas Mekas wrote, "Taylor Mead of The Flower Thief is the happy innocent, the unspoiled idiot. He has a beautiful flower soul. He will go to heaven like all children do. The idiot and the child are unspoiled by the conventions, laws, and ideas of the world. The idiot today is the only character through which a poet can reveal the beauty of living.... The entire beat generation chose idiocy. The idiot is above (or under) our daily business, money, morality.... All wise men have gone mad."

Co-presented by the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival.

"In the old Hollywood days movie studios would keep a man on the set who, when all other sources of ideas failed (writers, directors, was called upon to 'cook up' something for filming. He was called The Wild Man. The Flower Thief has been put together in memory of all dead wild men who died unnoticed in the field of stunt." -Ron Rice

"Rice, by deliberately flouting established movie making traditions, reveals himself primarily as a professional rebel rather than the leader of a new movement. But in the highly specialized area of experimental films, he has produced a major work." -Eugene Archer, The New York Times

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