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Monday, 25 January 2010

The Shining - Jan Harlan Interview



On Sunday 28th February we'll be screening THE SHINING, on occasion of its 30th Anniversary, and we've invited Executive Producer Jan Harlan to the event. Jan served as Executive Producer on all of Kubrick's films (and Stanley Kubrick's brother in law) from BARRY LYNDON onwards, and since Kurbrick's death, has served as a kind of ambassador for his legacy. He directed the moving and insightful A LIFE IN PICTURES, a fantastic documentary about Stanley Kubrick.

I saw him speak at a special screening of EYES WIDE SHUT at the Barbican a couple of years ago, and he is one of the most interesting people I have ever heard speak publicly. Even if Kubrick films are not your thing (are you mad?) he's good value. That film in particular is one I adore and which received a poor critical reception when released. Like all of his films, it is now slowly being regarded as a latter day masterpiece.

THE SHINING, for my money, is the scariest cinematic experience I have ever had (I saw it first on video as a teenager and then once all alone in a cinema in Times Square late at night) and not because of the traditional horror elements, but because, in typical Kubrick fashion, he extricates the most unsettling elements about King's original story (obsession, abuse, sex, martial alienation) and explores them with his unparalleled cinematic skill.

I asked Jan the now standard Splendor Cinema questionnaire, and he gave me brief but fascinating answers:

What is your favourite cinema in the country?
THE REX in Berkhamsted
What is your first memory of moviegoing?
THE SEAHAWK with Errol Flynn
What is your strangest/exciting/scariest moviegoing experience?
THE WAGES OF FEAR, when I saw it as a teenager
What film project that you have been associated with are you proudest of?
EYES WIDE SHUT
What is one thing that the UK film industry could do to improve success?
FILM APPRECIATION as part of school curriculum - this would give "film" the latest art-form added to architecture, writing, painting, composing etc. the standing it deserves.

I should add, by way of a plug, that there are some tickets left for this event - but not many..

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