The film, directed by Ephraim Asili, takes a look at the Arkestra both then and now, with tastes of the band performing and including some vintage space program footage of rockets taking off and flying to the moon. The DVD case informs me that Sun Ra was sent to Earth to "prepare human beings for a future centered around space travel". Unforunately, while the documentary makes some attempts, with bold motion text, to explain some of the philosophies of Sun Ra, I learned more by reading said summary than I did watching the film itself. Maybe Asili thinks these details should be absorbed through said synopsis, and are subtextual or things you should already know, but I don't buy that.
The band itself sounds fairly jazzy. Comedian Paul F. Tomkins joked that jazz is "a bunch of guys, all playing different songs at the same time...it's like a whole genre of music that's about defying you to like it." That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the music itself. It's not off-putting or painful, but it isn't exactly tuneful either. Asili also interviews several members of the band, who talk about their experiences discovering Sun Ra and eventually joining the band. Unfortunately, and I'm amazed that two of the documentaries I've watched for DVDTalk have had such a seemingly obvious problem, the interviewees are not credited on screen, so you don't know who any of these people are.
I was hoping the film would develop and improve as it went on, but something shocking occurred. The DVD case notes a running time of 60 minutes, but Points on a Space Age only runs 32:41, approximately 27 minutes shorter than it advertises. Even if you're the most devoted Sun Ra Arkestra fan in the world, or unless they offer some method of slowing time I'm unaware of, this DVD is going to be a massive letdown.
The Video and Audio