The Red Book


16mm film (color), 11:00 minutes  (1994)

Sound design by Beo Morales

The Red Book is an elliptical, pictographic film that uses flat, painted figures and collage elements 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, suggesting a sense of irretrievable loss.


The Red Book (is) Janie Geiser’s beautifully mysterious, animated short.  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 surrealist edge.”         — Caryn James, The New York Times 1996

The Red Book was selected  to be preserved in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2009. (25 films are selected annually for inclusion.)

Selected Screening History:
New York International Film Festival (1995)
Museum of Modern Art, New Directors/New Films, 1996
Alive from Off-Center, Minnesota Public Television (1996)
Rotterdam International Film Festival (1997)
Orphan Film Symposium (2010, Virginia)

Janie GeiserThe Red Book