Starting today and continuing through the weekend, New Yorkers will be treated to a three-part Museum of Modern Art retrospective of the work of director Michael Sporn. The films being shown include Sporn’s adaptations of classic children’s books by the likes of William Steig, Quentin Blake and Mordicai Gerstein, as well as his adaptation of the Lewis Carroll poem “The Hunting of the Snark.” I wish I was out east for these programs because I have enjoyed the pared-down elegance of the few Sporn films I’ve seen over the years like Doctor De Soto and The Man Who Walked between the Towers. The films being screened are:
Program 1: New York Stories
Five short films by Michael Sporn: Mona Mon Amour, Champagne, The Man Who Walked between the Towers, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, The Little Match Girl
Program 2: Fables
Four short films by Michael Sporn: Doctor De Soto, Abel’s Island, The Red Shoes, The Hunting of the Snark
Program 3: A Peaceable Kingdom
Five short films by Michael Sporn: Goodnight Moon, The Marzipan Pig, The Amazing Bone, Ira Sleeps Over, The Story of the Dancing Frog
On Monday, November 12, the series concludes with a discussion between Michael Sporn and John Canemaker. Here’s the description of that program:
An Evening with Michael Sporn
The artist takes part in a conversation with animation historian/filmmaker John Canemaker and MoMA assistant curator Joshua Siegel. The discussion is illustrated with clips from Sporn’s award-winning animated films, including a new short, Pab’s First Burger, and an excerpt from his feature-length work-in-progress about the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe. Sporn’s career is also traced through his commercials, public service announcements, title sequences, and visuals for the Broadway stage.
Historian Michael Barrier also has some thoughts on Sporn’s work that are worth a read.