As the promotional material indicates, for years a lot of us who grew up watching films at school or watching PBS have seen these mini-films but had no idea who made them. Now, with the help of The Numero Group (a record label known for their incredible compilations, and a label I wish I was working for), they are presenting Celestial Navigations, a collection of all 45 films made by Al Jarnow. These short films may look experimental and very trippy, but they were a bit of guidance for us kids who weren’t sure what the big world had in store for us. In other words, through art and film, Jarnow was able to drop some hints and as adults we’re now able to re-discover his greatness. If you are a fan of some of Stan Brakhage‘s works (check out his 2 DVD retrospective of films on Criterion), you will appreciate Jarnow’s work.
Each film was restored and color corrected to original 16mm prints with remastered audio in Dolby Digital, and put together in a great looking DVD package. The DVD also has a 30 minute documentary on Jarnow and his work. A deluxe edition package will be made that will contain a 60-page book with essays, random photos and scans, photographs, storyboards, and a complete filmography.
This is The Numero Group’s first jump into films and DVD’s, and if it’s anything like their CD compilations, then this will be incredible not only to view, but to have at home in your video collection. Celestial Navigations will be released in February.