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Coming to Los Angeles


Coming to California
Jules Engel Film-maker
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For me, drawing, for me, drawing was natural. For me, athletics was natural. There was no effort, you know? The coach said, 'Why don't you run a little faster'? I said, 'Coach, I'm winning'. You know? 'I don't have to run any faster, I'm winning.' You know? He was a nice person and he was also, I don't know what he was teaching but that time, maybe even today, they can coach and they have a class, they teach some class. And it's just part and parcel, you know? But the geometry teacher at Evanston High, he wanted desperately for me to go to his… his university that he graduate from and his son was graduating that year. But [U]SC and UCLA, they have such a big name, you know, in that world, that I had to get on a bus. It took about three or four days on a bus to come to Los Angeles. I remember I arrived in Los Angeles after three days on the bus, and my pants, they came all the way up here because of the way you sit and you eventually get all messy and everything down there is up here. But I wanted to come here because of the… really because of the athletics, what brought me to Southern California. And I can say, right now, that everything turned out to be just right. Because if I'd gone to the university that this teacher of mine wanted to go, I don't know what the hell, I probably would have ended up as a coach or… or some damn thing. But I felt that this is the place for me, California, because of the athletes. That brought me to California, 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: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

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.

Tags: Evanston High School, University of Southern California, The University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA

Duration: 2 minutes, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008