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27 November 2004 @ 11:16 am
A Stanley Kubrick Mini-Con, Special Guest Star: Producer, relative and friend Jan Harlan  

I'm afraid, I have to keep this report rather short, because I so should be working on something different right now...

Yesterday evening, cavendish and I had the immense pleasure of participating in a panel/seminar/workshop-like Q&A  session with Jan Harlan, who does not only happen to be the brother of Kubrick's wife Christiane, but also the executive producer of all of Mr. Kubrick's later films, including such master pieces as Shining and Eyes Wide Shut.


The people responsible for organising the event had done everything they could to prevent the evening from becoming a success for both the audience and Mr. Harlan (failure to install a functioning microphone and video-projector *before* the talk and not during the first twenty-five minutes of it; the most heterogeneous of audiences, longtime Kubrick fans, most of them probably university-educated mixed with an entire class of 8th graders who had been dragged there their teacher and would have been served much better with half an hour of Q&A time on their own).

However, the experience itself was just amazing and probably one of the greatest film-related privileges I'll ever enjoy.

Despite the bad start, Mr. Harlan talked for over three hours. Charming, resourceful, enthusiastic, incredibly patient; sharing his passion for Stanley Kubrick's work as well as for film and art in general, willing to give as many insights into Kubrick's way of film making as he possibly could.

The people sitting in that ugly Duesseldorf educational centre's classroom heard intriguing anecdotes, such as Mr. Harlan having to fly to Venice four times to get the masks for Eyes Wide Shut 's famous "orgy" scene, because the entire production's single costume lady was simply indesepensable. Saw unused set designs for 2001. Excerpts from several brilliant non-Kubrick movies. Production sketches for A.I. .  Kubrick's still un-aired, touching but at the same time also remarkably witty acceptance speech for the D.W. Griffith award.

I guess  I could write for the next three hours or so. But time's running fast and I've  really got to go now.

If you ever have the chance to hear Mr. Harlan talk, somewhen, somewhere. Do it. It's so worth your time.

 
 
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Simon and Garfunkel, A Hazy Shade of Winter
 
 
 
Cavendishcavendish on November 27th, 2004 11:09 pm (UTC)
thanks
well, thanks :-)

Thanks for this nice entry. It will remind me of a really extraordinary evening we shared.

And, no, I do not understand why nobody commented on this, I thought this really worth an entry, but I have already complained elsewhere. Hope you do not mind.

Frank

PS.: if anybody cares to read: elsewhere is right here:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/cavendish/16314.html


Karenquiller77 on November 28th, 2004 04:09 pm (UTC)
Hi Bimo. Thanks for sharing. Harlan does sound fascinating. I'll have to enjoy his talk vicariously because I'm certain he'd never come to little old Alberta. ;-)

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been tied up IRL most of the weekend. Attended an interesting lecture myself on Friday night (political analyst). Your talk was probably much more upbeat. ;-)

-Karen
Bimobimo on November 28th, 2004 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing.

You are welcome :-)

I'll have to enjoy his talk vicariously because I'm certain he'd never come to little old Alberta. ;-)

Having Jan Harlan come to a rather provincial, conceited "wanna-be metropolis" like Duesseldorf was rather surprising for most people here, too, since normally, a person like him should be expected to visit cities like Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt. So maybe, there still is some hope for Alberta ;-)

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been tied up IRL most of the weekend.

Trust me, I know the feeling *g*
When you posted the entry about your new Caspar David Friedrich icon, I so wanted to drop you a note on how much I liked the icon as well as the entry itself. But I got swept away by Real Life and in the end never managed.

Attended an interesting lecture myself on Friday night (political analyst). Your talk was probably much more upbeat. ;-)

What kind of subject was your lecture about? Canadian politics or somthing more global?

As for the Harlan talk, the event was really inspiring. The kind of experience that really makes you feel there's a reason and a reward for continuing the personal struggle for meaningful artistic expression, even though the process of writing is totally different from the process of making a movie.
Karenquiller77 on November 29th, 2004 03:49 am (UTC)
The lecture was almost all global politics, some history of trends and extrapolating that to future events, but mostly the unfortunate intersection of the aims of Muslim extremists and American neo-conservatives (with each camp defined and described) on 9/11, and the potential future scenarios. I've been debating all weekend if a post trying to summarize the lecturer's stance would be useful. It was fascinating stuff -- the first time a two-hour lecture has whizzed by with the speed of a good movie.

how much I liked the icon as well as the entry itself
Thanks. I quite like Friedrich's art, even if it is quite romantic. His very haunting picture of abbey ruins amidst skeletal trees is my computer background right now.

As for the Harlan talk, the event was really inspiring.
Things that inspire are so necessary to the creative life, like filling up the gas tank on a long trip. I'm glad you got that from his talk. :-)