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Having fun producing my personal work


Making live action films in Paris
Jules Engel Film-maker
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Making films came much later. It came into the 70s, into '75, around there, when I first made my film. I always painted, you know? But making a film, that was something else. And I think the first film came around '75. So since then I did about 35 films, yeah. And while I was living in Paris I did live action. But here I haven't… no I haven't done anything here in the city, of live action. Everything I've done, live action, was in Europe. And there's something about the circumstances were such, that I did live action when I was over there. And they had one award, that's a very substantial award, a Jean Vigo Award, I think, that I won in Europe as a live action film. Yeah. Actually, I did it for somebody else over there. But, you see, if they knew that I was working on the film, they would be disqualified. So, although I worked with this guy - a young guy - and everything had to be on his name because that award will only be given to a French citizen - I think it's called a Jean Vigo award, you know? It's about as big as the Oscars here. Yeah. But… And also, there's something about that world. Some place will push you to certain direction. Paris was more… was into what I would call live action films. Here it's more towards animation. I don't know why but… or painting here. Over there it was more for… more for film and because the texture was more propelled that way in Europe, you know? And also, it was much easier to do a live action film in... in Paris. With talent - no problem, lab - no problem, you know. I did one - what's his name, this tall actor, that actor- that very funny man- the French actor? Tati. Yeah. He was a wonderful person. Yeah, I did one film that he bought from me because all day, you know, when they have their feature, they should have a short with the feature. So he wanted me to do a short for him or if I had anything halfway finished, he would like to take it on and run it with his feature. Which he did. 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: Europe, France, Oscars, Jean Vigo award, Jean Vigo, Jacques Tati

Duration: 3 minutes

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008