John Vicario was born in New York City (1934) and has lived in Los Angeles since the early 1960s, where he has worked both in and out of the film industry as a cameraman, writer, photographer, audio consultant, and poet. He attended the undergraduate film program at U.C.L.A., where Shoppers Market was produced by the Theatre Arts Department in 1963. Vicario pursued his interests in the non-deliberate gestures pervading mundane human movement and the relationship of music to subject matter on another film project, but Shoppers Market remains his one known completed film work. Shoppers Market can be rented from the Film-Makers Coop, New York, where it was deposited after its completion and initial festival success (e.g. Knokke-Le Zoute and Venice). Unseen since the late 60s, the film has recently been resurrected, preserved by the Academy Film Archive, and included as part of the events surrounding the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Shoppers Market can be viewed in full on Vimeo.
“Supermarkets and their stuff appeal to our wallets through our eyes, and, presumably, to our stomachs through our mouths. The remarkable thing about John Vicario’s recently re-discovered Shoppers Market (1963) is its attention to our ears. With its snippets of customer conversation melded to the eponymous Santa Monica store’s ambience and Muzak (including some piped-in in post by the filmmaker himself—e.g. Ussachevsky, Bartók), Vicario’s film, made at UCLA, cuts a fascinating tapestry of observational footage that audibly takes us to the verge of inner anxieties around produce and product, timelessness and 24 hour commerce, walking the aisle and checking out.” – Ken Eisenstein
UK Premiere. Restored print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive