1964. USA. Directed by John Hubley. Based on a book by Dr. Harlow Shapley. Animation directors William Littlejohn, Gary Mooney. With Shapley, Mark Hubley, Hampy Hubley. Amid the precocious banter of two young boys, Dr. Shapley narrates and explores scientific theories of matter and meaning in the universe. 53 min.
1967. USA. Directed by John Hubley. Written by Faith and John Hubley. In this animated short commissioned for the Montreal World’s Fair Expo 67, a city on legs, bent on devouring the landscape, does battle with a crafty farmer. 6 min.
1970. USA. Directed by John Hubley. Written by Faith and John Hubley. Animated by Tissa David. With Anita Ellis, David Burns, Grady Tate. Mother Nature bickers with Death over control of humankind before a fateful decision is made. 10 min.
A world premiere in To Save and Project, The Museum of Modern Art’s new restorations of work from Storyboard Studio returns the original color palettes and heightened fidelity of scores by jazz composers Benny Carter and Quincy Jones to three signature 1960s projects by cartoon modernists John and Faith Hubley. Eggs is a breezy riff on overpopulation, birth control, and organ transplantation, exemplifying the independent spirit of the Hubleys’ issue-driven animation. The surreal Urbanissimo, a satire on the chaos of urban development, was suitably paired with Jean-Luc Godard’s black comedy Weekend during its first New York City theatrical run in 1968. The Hubleys' landmark animated documentary Of Stars and Men, adapted from a book by the astronomer Harlow Shapley, is the centerpiece of the program. This anecdotal inquiry into the origins of man and the structure of time and space is one of their finest achievements, a triumph of multilayered graphic textures, abstraction, coloration, and wry humanism. Following the screening, Academy Award–winning animation filmmaker and historian John Canemaker and astronomer Dr. Charles Liu join celebrated contemporary animator Emily Hubley to discuss humor, art, science, and music in John and Faith Hubley’s work. This program is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, Department of Film.
All films restored by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.