Visibly Animated

Al Jarnow’s free-association films serve as an astringent antidote to the wisecracking-animal-and-dancing-inanimate-object school of animation practiced by Pixar, Disney, and the other Hollywood studios. As the creator of Sesame Street’s science-themed animated movies, Jarnow just might have gotten into many kids' heads in time to inoculate them against cutesy commercialism. (Who are we kidding?) The New Yorker did a stint as an artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium some 20 years ago, working on interactive, child-friendly exhibits and kindling an interest (and side business) that continues to this day. He’s also a painter, but the focus this week is on “Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow,” an altogether winning program celebrating the recent release of his first DVD collection. Along with selected shorts, the bill includes a half-hour documentary, Asymmetric Cycles: The Work of Al Jarnow (it’s also on the DVD). Even better, Jarnow himself will be in the house for both shows. Here’s what we’d ask him: Say, Al, could you make an animated film about global warming that even Senator James Inhofe (R-Idiotville) could understand?
Thu., April 22, 7:15 & 9:30 p.m., 2010

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