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Work in the Air Force: maps and abstraction


Joining the Air Force
Jules Engel Film-maker
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I stayed for a while and I think that's when the war came. And then there was the numbers in the newspaper, and you had a number and you looked in the newspaper and sure enough, you had all those numbers, all the people going tomorrow. And so mine, all of a sudden, I find my numbers and then I had to go downtown, you know? There was a very strange situation going on here because, in the first place, I wore glasses, you know? And the second thing, I had a bad shoulder that gave me trouble. So eventually they decided, these people, that they're not going to take me in the army. No way, not fit with the glasses and with a bad shoulder, you know? I can't move the damn shoulder. But then the office was almost closed. This woman was cleaning the place, I'm the only one in the joint, they don't want to take me but I had to join because all my friends, my God, how would I face them, you know? So they finally, okay, they're going to take me because the Air Force already asked for me because they were looking for animators. So because they know I'm not going to go overseas, they're going to stay put here and so they took me. So that was the big move.

[Q] And so you joined the army?

That's how I became in the Air Force, in the Air Force. Yeah.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Bill Moritz Tamara Tracz

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: Air Force

Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008