Many of Jarnow’s best films began with him tinkering in his home studio, either building elaborate devices to capture light, or sketching patterns on a succession of index cards. Like the underground cartoonists of the late ’60s, Jarnow didn’t see much distinction between the kind of art that might appeal to children and the kind that would wow aesthetes; with a few tweaks here and there, his avant-garde films could’ve aired on Sesame Street, and his Sesame Street films could’ve played at Anthology Film Archives. The connection between them all is Jarnow’s visible hand, scribbling on paper, moving objects in increments, and puzzling out the way the universe works, one dancing seashell at a time.
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