Kit Carson on "Jan Harlan -- Stanley Kubrick's Producer"

L.M. Kit Carson, the legend, the man, returns to discuss his recent encounter with greatness, Jan Harlan, Mr. Kubrick's producer.

Read L.M. Kit Carson's last guest post for us on David Holzman's
Diary Here. What you can find out from some semi-private time with Stanley Kubrick’s multi-movie (The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut) final producer Jan Harlan is…

…you can find out -- how totally susceptible Kubrick was to the story-power of music. A special memory kept by Harlan is seeing Kubrick struggling with how to work his movie-making-evoking of the Mystery of the Universe for 2001: A Space Odyssey – Jan (a classical musicologist) suggested trying Richard Strauss’ “Thus Spoke Zarathrusta” in the X scenes. As Harlan puts it: “Stanley got truly satisfied that this piece by Strauss was all he needed. To make the question remain… about whether there might be some deliberation effecting us somewhere in the Universe.”

…can find out – the subject of all Kubrick’s movies in many ways was… Kubrick. All his movie-making choices about why-and-how – mega-personal.

Harlan: “Stanley seized the rights to Peter George’s 1958 tough extreme apocalyptic political novel Red Alert – the nuclear competition between Russia and the United States was a constant Red Alert in Stanley’s mind. He kept warning his colleagues: ‘Feel like I must make a movie here now – because this world-danger is going to go wrong’. But he couldn’t find the voice that worked for this story. Then he got into a meeting with screenwriter Terry Southern who almost unexpectedly joked: ‘The only way for you to make a Kubrick movie here now – y’gotta make fun of this nuke nuttiness. We don’t know anything about what’s really going on in the nukes. So Y’gotta heighten the seriousness of your worry by making it into a comedy.’ And Stanley got it – made his own fears into his unique movie – it feels like he’s on the track of an absurd fairy tale.”

For me this insider-double-insight-combo opens up why you can feel Kubrick so strongly in the surprise unforgettable last sequence of Paths of Glory.

Battled-rattled soldiers packed drunken into a bar – banging their beer-mugs onto the tables bullying the bar-owner. He drags out mid-bar a captured young German girl goading her to sing. Hooting soldiers. The frightened girl begins to sing simply with a trembling voice. The crude shouting fades. She sings more and more near-tears. Some soldiers begin to hum brokenly along with her – and humanity fills the room – in spite of the war-horror outside.

And Genius Kubrick makes you see what he sees – the bar-room transforming. And say more – as you watch this scene, you truly see-and-feel Stanley Kubrick fall in love with the young actress playing the heart-breaking girl – Christiane Harlan. Shortly after the movie-shoot, Kubrick married her – for life. Jan Harlan’s sister.

CINEMA JOVE 2011, the international film festival’s 26th year, honored and celebrated Jan Harlan with the Luna de Valencia award (a stunning crescent-moon-shaped crystal trophy). For his 30-year creative career-work helping making movies with Kubrick. Also for his strong work now curating the archives and exhibitions spreading the brilliant cool of Kubrick in museums and schools world-wide.

With sincere modesty, Harlan raised the trophy to Kubrick: “Kubrick's films do remain as a valid marker for future generations to look into our lives in the second half of the 20th century.”

Jan Harlan recommends a special multi-part showcase he helped mount: the French Cinematheque’s current Kubrick Retrospective (March 23rd – July 31st).

CINEMA JOVE Film Festival -- End-of-June, 2011 Valencia, Spain

Check this savvy web-site:

--- L.M. Kit Carson

Filmmaker/Journalist L.M. Kit Carson recently jump-started back to his documentary roots – using Nokia N93 & N95 cellphonecams journeying across Africa to record a digital diary docu-series for the Sundance Channel: AFRICA DIARY. This work combines truth and heart in newsworthy reports set to air on the Sundance Channel’s 3 screens – cable-TV; computer; and cellphones – launching in Fall 2011.

Guest Post: Kit Carson "On David Holzman"

I moved to NYC almost three decades ago, but the coolest and most forward thinking movie then had gotten here almost a decade earlier. DAVID HOLZMAN'S DIARY is often described as America's answer to Godard -- and they are talking his early films when they say that. It's such a fun, smart, provocative film that we needed to wait forty years for history to catch up to it. Not only do we now have a chance to catch up to it, the technology and it's various partners have provided us with many ways to appreciate it, but for me it is a special joy to have it's hero lift it's curtain, and tell us a bit how it was all done. The multi-faceted L.M. Kit Carson guest blogs today demonstrating that the greatest work often comes from refusing to ask permission and finding a way to make by any means necessary.

David Holzman Was So Far Ahead Of The Parade You Might Have Missed He Was Leading It

Here’s the funny thing – David Holzman (mockdoc mockfilmmaker) won’t quit. Put it this way – end of May on Memorial Weekend I got invited to the Harrisburg Indie-Fest in Penn for screening me and Jim McBride’s first movie: David Holzman’s Diary – and the truly sudden surprise is… now it really plays like a YouTube movie. Say more: the Fest-goers reacted like, well, like it's a Not-Exactly-1968-Movie, no – but like David was just last week on their computer-screens.

After the screening, later walking around Fest-goers – they acted really familiarly – like they did know me (David?) – nodded; grinned; film-loving femmes silently mouthed: "Hi Guy"... uh... A local FilmProf clues me into this social-action: "David Holzman is the original YouTuber. Watching him now, you’re hit by the beginnings of everyman Net-Cinema.” uh-2...

OK. Got it: like it’s a flashback-and-flashforward-at-the-same-time-movie.

OK, fact is – 1967: Me and Jim McBride were writing the first-ever book about cinema-verite – it was an interview/theory book for New York City’s Museum of Modern Art; we were calling it: THE TRUTH ON FILM. We were interviewing the roster of new-documentary filmmakers from Robert Drew to Leacock and Pennebaker to the Maysles Brothers – including interviewing Andy Warhol for his pop-verite. Halfway through the book-writing, McBride says to me: “There is no Truth on Film. Basically as soon as you turn the camera on – everything changes – to not real – gets like unreal.” So we decide it’s more quote/unquote “un-truth-ful” to write this book – we decide not to write this book.

We take the $2,500.00 book-advance – and over the 10-day Easter Break from college – we make a cinema-verite mock-documentary – we figure it’s the strongest way to question cinema-verite: David Holzman’s Diary.

The Museum of Modern Art was not happy that we did not make the contracted book – until David Holzman’s Diary won the Mannheim, Brussels, and Locarno Film Festivals. Then the Museum arranged for a high-profile Special Screening of the mock-doc – the beginning of a film-series called CINEPROBE – and then added it to the Film Collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

OK, curious fact is – 1991: David Holzman’s Diary is selected to join 250 other films as “American Cinema Treasures” in the U.S. Library of Congress Film Collection. In this collection: Citizen Kane; Gone With The Wind – and the 10-day $2,500.00 mock-doc David Holzman’s Diary. It was noted as quote/unquote “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” – uh-3…

OK, latest fact is – Summer 2011: NYC’s MoMA sets up a 5-day Special Screening Event in collaboration with distributor KinoLorber’s re-launching a new digitalized + print of this movie on multi-platforms: David Holzman’s Diary June 15-20… check this MoMA link:

Other funny thing – keep getting un-asked-for Press every time I chat to a journo-friend... …current item in British pop/philosophy-critical-mag The Fortnightly Review... checkit...

…or this in D magazine (Dallas version of NEW YORK)... checkit...

David Holzman won't quit...

BritCrit friend Denis Boyles notes: “I hope David never quits.” OK. Go with that.

-- Kit Carson

Robert PeFilmmaker/Journalist L.M. Kit Carson recently jump-started back to his documentary roots – using Nokia N93 & N95 cellphonecams journeying across Africa to record a digital diary docu-series for the Sundance Channel: AFRICA DIARY. This work combines truth and heart in newsworthy reports set to air on the Sundance Channel’s 3 screens – cable-TV; computer; and cellphones – launching in Fall 2011.

David Holzman's Diary premieres on on June 15th. Don't miss it.