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Man Ray and Julie


Out on the town with Man Ray
Jules Engel Film-maker
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But that was one of those damn weird things. You know, on Vine Street there was an open… open stall with fruit and furniture… fruit and everything on, you know?

[Q] The Farmer's Market?

Yup, yeah… was on the street. Across from it was a place where Man Ray and Julie [Juliet Browner] was hanging out. And Max Ernst, Max Ernst was there. And this one day... I mean, drinking was normal, you know? Or Soulima ... Soulima [Stravinsky], that's the son of [Igor] Stravinsky. He was a biggie, he was a very good pianist. But he and Julie, Julie, the wife of Man Ray, you know? They got together and next you know, they were so drunk, they didn't know what the hell they were doing. The one thing with Man, he never drank, Man Ray, you know? He just stood in a corner and he looked and watched, you know? And he was there and he didn't try stop these two fools of doing what they were doing because he could have hurt her, you know? But they had a helluva lot of fun. And for me that was another world, that I knew about them but I've never been with them or around them that close, you know? So that was an interesting… Then when I got to Paris, I got with Man Ray often and Julie, we used to go out on Sundays, we would take a trip and just walk around. And the thing is that I still feel about that, what a stupid thing, for me, at that time, not to take any photos. Not to take any photos of Man Ray and Julie and all those people. And now I always tell my students, if I have anybody coming in to Cal Art [California Institute of the Arts] and they come into an office or place, 'Make sure you take a picture. I don't give a damn, just take a picture and then put it away because 20 years later, that will come so handy when you're working on a book or something'. And the reason I'm still strong on that, because I didn't take a picture of anybody. I didn't think like that. Until it dawned on me, 'Oh my God! You know what you have? You have all these people around you and you don't take a photo of them'. I took a photo of chairs because they looked interesting, but I never took a photo of the people.

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: California Institute of the Arts, Vine Street, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Juliet Browner, Igor Stravinsky

Duration: 2 minutes, 42 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008