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Matisse and Picasso - a question of influence


The animation industry
Jules Engel Film-maker
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So, if we're dealing with the industry, and then you have the industry, and then you have the outside, the outside animators, you know? The thing is that inside the industry, the majority of the animators don't know anything about experimental animation. Or don't know anything about people who... even Oskar Fischinger, who's really been on the scene many times. They saw him in magazines, they saw him in books, whatever. Maybe some will get something out of it. But in general, the majority of the people in the industry are not interested in Oskar Fischinger. Because they're interested in making a living. And the only living is that they're going to work for the studio and get a salary. And the fact that, when we had UPA, with the Gerald McBoing Boing, Madeleine, Frankie and Johnny, Unicorn in the Garden and all that stuff. That was a dream, it wasn't even real, it was so far out and away from what the industry is about, that it doesn't exist. So you don't have them and us or they, you really don't have that. Because the majority of the people in the industry, they come there at 08:30 and leave at 17:00 and that's it. You see? So when you're dealing with these other people like Fischinger, you really have to be a little bit special in working... you have to work because you have to make a living. So that's normal, that's normal. It's not necessarily normal that they should fall in love with Oskar Fischinger, you know? But if he falls in love with Oskar Fischinger and he brings that to the studio where he works... and the guys might say, 'What the hell you showing this to me?' I mean he might get an answer out of question like that. 'What the hell this guy got to do with me?' You see, it's another world. It's another world. The only people that maybe have a tentacle out for all these other things are the directors. Maybe they are this other level of people that are in the industry, you know? But in the industry, it's just... gotta make a living.

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: Frankie and Johnny, Madeline, Unicorn in the Garden, Gerald McBoing Boing, UPA, United Productions of America, Oskar Fischinger

Duration: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 29 September 2010