Ron Rice was born in New York, NY in 1935. Rice was a drifter who dropped out of high school and by nature was very restless. This restlessness is how he initially made his way into film. Rice got his start by buying an 8mm Camera to record bicycle races in San Francisco. It was in San Francisco that he met Taylor Mead, which in turn led him to the production of his first film The Flower Thief (Arthouse Inc).
The Flower Thief was finished in 1960 with the help of Taylor mead the offbeat hero the San Francisco and New York Beats (Sitney, 300). After the Success of The Flower Thief, Rice toyed with the idea of making some films right after the Flower Thief. Rice Started a film called The Dancing Master and another untitled film with his friend Jerry Joften, but lost interest in the films during their production (Sitney, 301). Rice made Senseless and that came out later that same year of 1962. Senseless came out of a film that he planned to make at Eric Nord's island. Rice knew Nord from The Flower Thief and He knew that Nord purchased an island from the Mexican government with the intent of making that island a Utopia. Unfortunately Nord forgot to find out if there was water on the island so when Rice arrived on the island to shoot his film, Nord and his crew realized the mistake they had made and had already cleared off the island (Sitney, 301). The only thing Ron Rice had left from his trip was some footage that he took on his way to the island to meet Nord (Sitney, 301).
When Rice got back from the trip and arrived in NewYork, he pooled together his research and the various episodes he had recorded. He divised a potpourri from what he recorded in Mexico and what he had on file and realized that the film would have no plot nor a continuity of a single mediator. Despite the incredible irony, the creation Senseless was completed in 1962. Rice gave credit to Jonas Mekas for the creation of Senseless, but ironically Senseless is thought of as Rice's most carefully organized formal film (Sitney, 301).
After Rice finished Senseless he bought together Taylor Mead and Winifred Bryan, to make a new film called The Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man (Sitney, 302). Rice made rough-cuts of the idea to try to raise money for the film. The two scenes that were made were on Hamlet and Greg Markopoulos' Twice a Man. Rice got the funding that he was looking for and the intercutting and combination of characters brought by the Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man was a step closer to the synthetic process of the mythic film. Rice never finished the film; Mead finished it in 1982 (Sitney, 302).
Rice went on to another project called Chumlum. Chumlum was developed from the inspiration that Rice found on the occasions when he would assist Jack Smith with his productions. One production that specifically aided the inspiration that Rice would feel was Smith's film Normal Love. While they were filming each production Rice would go back to Smith's apartment, with the cast and crew and observe what everyone would do. He used these ideas to create Chumlum with the fragmenting of events and use of superimposition. The film was completed in 1964. Sadly at the end of that year he died of pneumonia while he was in Mexico. Rice's resume comes to six films and shows a great mind for film. He was truly an artistic genius who died too young.