Janie Geiser Retrospective Friday (April 13), 7 pm, Innis Town Hall. Rating: NNNN
louisiana-born janie geiser crafts voiceless, elusive stories out of old playthings, cut-out characters, wallpaper patterns and pure shadow, all layered and set to music that feels like it was recorded in extreme close-up. It's tactile, intimate work. She was a puppet artist before she was a filmmaker, and her shorts unspool like private melodramas shot inside a boarded-up dollhouse. She'll make her first Toronto appearance at iMAGES, screening seven short films.
In Immer Zu, Geiser's cut-out characters move through a monochrome world, though it's more black than white. She plunges them into a noirish subconscious, complete with menacing, mid-century film-score music. And in Lost Motion, a toy businessman falls into the folds of a dream world. Geiser's films are beautiful and entrancing, but a bit baffling, too. The procession of images offers hints of narrative but always darts back into enigma. Is the enigma good enigma? It depends.