Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Red Book (1994)

WHO: Janie Geiser made this film.

WHAT: I have not seen The Red Book, but I've long been a fan of Geiser's puppet animations, two of which I wrote about when they appeared on DVD. Here's some of what Sara Maria Vizcarrondo says about this Geiser film in a fairly recent article on puppet animation:
her cutouts have a comforting lack of animus but are so charming you identify with them. Her immediate concern with the female body and the suggestion that being in a home forces the female into tailspin (while a man as emotive as an Irish setter looks on) and can’t help but feel like a personal statement, if not just an evocation of Sylvia Plath.
WHERE/WHEN: Tonight at Artists' Television Access, on a program presented by Craig Baldwin's Other Cinema starting at 8:30,

WHY: Tonight's Other Cinema program is a smorgasbord of film & video work involving stop motion and puppet animation of all sorts, from Willis O'Brien's cutting-room floor scenes from King Kong to the latest by Martha Colburn, Metamorfoza. The evening also includes tributes to a pair of puppetmasters passed from the planet in the past 12 months: Ray Harryhausen (famed for Jason and the Argonauts, etc.) and Gerry Anderson (of Thunderbirds renown). But I'm particularly excited about The Red Book, because though I've seen quite a few of Geiser's films this one has somehow eluded me thus far. I was pleasantly surprised to see it inducted into the National Film Registry four years ago, not realizing that it might be Geiser's most "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film". It's just these kinds of selections that make me appreciate the Library of Congress project; I'm glad that this and the John Landis-directed Thriller video and the admittedly odd sound-on-film experiment Gus Visser and His Singing Duck have been inducted onto the list before Kramer Vs. Kramer has been, as pointed out by this recent article. HOW: The Red Book screens digitally.

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