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When Stanley Kubrick was making Full Metal Jacket, it was Jan Harlan’s job to get the army tanks.
Not an easy task.
After all, miltary forces aren’t exactly in the rent-all business.
Their focus is usually on completely irrelevant things like saving the world from evil empires and other dumb stuff.
Harlan (shown) was Kubrick’s executive producer on Full Metal Jacket.
After considerable effort and a lot of rejection, he finally found three tanks in the Belgian Armed Forces and an officer who seemed willing to co-operate.
At this weekend’s screening of Harlan’s film Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures at the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival, Harlan charmed an audience of Saultites by relating how he closed the deal on the tanks Kubrick needed for the picture.
And cut a darn good deal in the process.
“We’re not really in the business of renting tanks,” the Belgian officer told him.
“Well, you aren’t using them, are you?” Harlan returned.
The officer paused for a moment or two of pregnant silence.
“Just make sure you bring them back!” he finally said.
So Jan Harlan got the tanks he wanted without paying a dime and they can be seen in Kubrick’s 1987 classic Full Metal Jacket.
Audience members wanted to know exactly what jobs Harlan did for Kubrick and how he had managed to create such an intimate film portrait of the renowned director’s life.
Harlan was executive producer for Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining and Barry Lyndon, and was an assistant to the producer on Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.
He’s also the brother of Kubrick’s third and last wife Christiane, whom he met while filming Paths of Glory in 1956.
They remained married until Kubrick died on March 7, 1999, shortly after the release of Eyes Wide Shut.
Harlan told his Sault audience that he was able to assemble a wide range of material for his documentary about his brother-in-law because after personal and professional relationships with Kubrick spanning more than 45 years, he knew who to approach and what to ask them.
Last day for Shadows of the Mind
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures was screened at Galaxy Cinema 12 on Friday, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael sitting quietly as a surprise guest in the audience.
The fifth annual Shadows of the Mind Film Festival wraps up on Sunday.
The festival brings together members of the local film society, mental health and addiction professionals, and special guests from both the film and health industries, to encourage discourse around the myths and misconceptions surrounding mental illness.
This year, Shadows of the Mind featured its first annual video competition and several screenings of Looking For Angelina, a film about a landmark domestic violence case that happened in Sault Ste. Marie in 1911.