Two New DVD collections of the films of Janie Geiser.

 FMC is pleased to annouce two new DVD collections of the films of Janie Geiser. 

The first one is earlier works (1994-2004) THE RED BOOK, IMMER ZU, THE FOURTH WATCH, and TERRACE 49 and the second one is newer works (2009-2014) GHOST ALGEBRA, THE FLOOR OF THE WORLD, ARBOR, and THE HUMMINGBIRD WARS. The DVDs cost $150.00 each for purchase.


The Red Book (1994)- THE RED BOOK is an elliptical, pictographic animated film that uses flat, painted figures and collage elements in both two and three dimensional settings to explore the realms of memory, language and identity from the point of view of a woman amnesiac. THE RED BOOK suggests the ways in which language defines us, and reaches back into dismemberment myths about the creation of different tongues through the breaking apart of bodies (in this case, the woman's body). As the film progresses, the submerged images of her stored memory appear and collide with the present world in circular rhythms, and there is a sense of irretrievable loss. "Images appear as in a graceful collage: glimpses of words are written in white vanishing ink; a woman is drawn in outline, as if she were a paper doll made of red construction paper. Everything is red, white, black, or gray in this smashing little film, which has graphic flair and a surrealistic edge." – Caryn James, The New York Times

IMMER ZU (1997) - IMMER ZU is an elliptical, experimental animated film which evokes a mysterious undercover world of secret messages, cryptic language and indecipherable codes. Shot in luminous black and white, IMMER ZU uses miniature two and three dimensional figures and sets, as well as shadow puppetry, to suggest the urgency of a nocturnal mission, a mission of life and death importance. In this dark and richly atmospheric film, with a soundtrack collaged from several film noirs, meaning is constantly covered and uncovered in a shadowed journey toward eclipse. 
"The dark-meshed moires of the memory book in its pulp fiction edition forms obsidian riddles that cut time to ribbons. Life puts us in the critical condition of having to espionage with our own stolen recollection of events preserving them in code often difficult to retrieve as it sinks into the limited access of the mental underworld." – Mark McElhatten, from the program for the 1998 New York Film Festival's Avant-Garde Visions

The Fourth Watch (2000) -   Mark McElhatten, co-curator of the 2000 New York Film Festival's Views From the Avant-Garde, where The Fourth Watch premiered, writes: "A small masterpiece of the uncanny brought about through beautifully controlled use of superimposition and scale and a cross breeding of "incompatible" species of texture and (cathode-solar) light. Glacial blue poltergeist – somnabulists, melodramatic stars and damaged children from silent films – emerge at night into a tin dollhouse opening up invisible envelopes of space, comingling with hypnoticic chiaroscuro cast by trembling sunlight.

Terrance 49 (2004) - Images of impending disaster- slamming doors, a truck careening down a hill, and a frayed, almost snapping, elevator rope collide with the repeated image of a woman - body, cycling toward ephemerality as the woman disappears into the texture of the film itself. In my recent films, I have been exploring the possibilities found in merging video texture with film, creating a lush, disorienting, ambiguous film space, and an atmosphere a temporal suspension. In Terrace 49, I further break up this space, dividing the film frame into shards, as fractured as memory and as fragile as glass.

Ghost Algebra (2009) - 

Under erratic skies, a solitary figure navigates a landscape of constructed nature and broken bones. She peers through a decaying aperture, waiting and watching: the fragility of the body is exposed for what it is: ephemeral, liquid, a battlefield of nervous dreams.

Using found and natural objects, rephotographed video, medical illustrations, and other collage elements, Ghost Algebra suggests one of the original meanings of the word “algebra”: the science of restoring what is missing, the reunion of broken parts.

The Floor of the World (2010) - In a shifting landscape of dirt and sky, excavation and construction merge. Figures move back and forth between life and death, and possibly somewhere else. The ephemerality of existence is mundane knowledge in this world, where numbers mark the way. The floor of the world turns out to be easily pierced, liquid, permeable.

The Arbor (2012) - Janie Geiser's new film ARBOR suggests the fragility and ephemerality of memory and its artifacts. Geiser re-animates a set of photographs found in a thrift store, creating a liminal space between representation and abstraction, figure and landscape, fiction and memory. Gathering on a past hill, lounging on forgotten stone walls behind lost trees, the inhabitants of Arbor cycle through this one afternoon repeatedly, gradually dissolving into time or into the landscape without revealing what we cannot know, and becoming shadows in their own stories.

The Hummingbird Wars (2014) - A theatrical fiction, collapsing time and place: turn-of-the-last-century performers apply stage makeup as if for war, to engage in battle for the soul of the world. The injuries are more emotional than physical, but cut deeply just the same. A visual/aural collage film, drawing on sources as seemingly disparate as Ibsen’s A Doll House, Japanese Gagaku music, makeup illustrations for 19th Century actors, the biography of a Shakespearean performer, blooming and decaying flowers, and a World War 1 First Aid Book, The Hummingbird Wars suggests theater in a time of war, which is the theater of any time.