Shine A Light

Films, Photos, Music, Fashion, Aesthetic, Narrative, Style, Image, Dialogue....

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Jan Harlan is a cool guy...

...and here's why...

'well, it's a horror movie, so it's nonsense!...But I don't mean that in a derogatory way'

This was a comment he made about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Jan Harlan was the executive producer of the film and worked with Kubrick many times including Full Metal Jacket, Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut.

We were lucky enough to be able to screen The Shining at the Duke of York's and have Jan Harlan and Lesley Tomkins (oscar nominated art director) give a very insightful and often humorous Q+A afterwards. Both gentlemen came across as true cinema lovers and understood their trade perfectly with professionalism, sincerity and a sense of humor. To hear Jan Harlan initially call his own film 'nonesense' was a perfect response to a film that makes a potentially 'nonsense' story so compelling, terrifying and visually compelling. A testament to the power of great film making.

Much has been written about Stanley Kubrick and his body of work, so I'm not going to add to much to it hear....but, possibly one of the most striking elements of The Shining is the use of steadicam. The tracking shots following Danny riding his tricycle through the hotel and the use of sound as he goes over floorboards then carpet, floorboards then carpet is a truly mesmerizing technique and sequence that is both simplistic and complex in concept and delivery.

The Shining was one of the first films to use the steadicam and the steadicam operator was Garrett Brown the creator of said device.

However, me and my friend Sam both decided that this scene was one of the best

'I'll just set my bourbon and advocaat down right there.'

The use of space, set design, the positioning of the actors and the editing and shots combine to make a very tense, surreal and almost uncomfortable scene, whilst still looking amazing. The stance between Jack and Delbert is almost as if they are about to start sparing or dancing, and this tension is amplified as the tone of the conversation gets more intense and surreal.

As I said, there has been much written about Kubrick and his work, so look into it...or just watch his films and figure whatever it is out for yourself!....

'Wendy?...Darling?...Light, of my life!.... I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in.'

1 comment:

  1. Audience Member: Was the number of the hotel room changed to avoid problems with the real Stanley Hotel?

    Jan Harlan : I don't think anyone really cares!

    I was in the audience too and that response was priceless. I don't think anyone cares for these stupid questions either!!!