Janie Geiser's "Nervous Films," Secret Stories gives a tame suggestion of the subconsciousness-prying themes explored in Geiser's short films. As an internationally recognized illustrator, puppet maker, playwright, animator and filmmaker, Geiser is capable of crafting extravagant visual worlds within each of her pieces. Quick pans through delicately sinister dioramas, antiquated gadgetry, tiny paintings, interlocking knick-knacks and creepy shadow sequences seem to have long incubated in an unsettling brew of fragmented memories and acute uncertainty. Stop-motion masters like Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay inevitably come to mind with animation like this, but in shorts like "Ghost Algebra" and "The Floor of the World" (both screening tonight), Geiser's rigorously dense work eclipses any singular production type. Unrelenting layers of stills, puppetry, models, live action sequences and light effects whirr into a rickety re-animation that stars all the lost toys from under the bed. Fans of the Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Velaslavasay Panorama, steampunks, upcyclists and renegade crafters undoubtedly will dig Geiser's work. Her newest short, "Ricky," premieres tonight, along with a surprise screening. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwtnwn.; Mon., Oct. 17, 8:30 p.m.; $10, $8 students. (213) 237-2800.
Mon., Oct. 17, 8:30 p.m., 2011
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