The Vietnam War through the lens of Stanley Kubrick.
May 6, 2009
Full Metal Jacket is Stanley Kubrick's entry into the Vietnam War movie sweepstakes that occurred during the eighties. But to be fair to Stanley Kubrick he planned out this film many moons before the others. But due to his infamous lengthy pre-production schedules, this one took forever to be released. The entire film was shot in England (his new home) and all the sets were built from scratch. Because of the subject matter, he received no military assistance from Uncle Sam. The movie was based upon the shocking novel The Short-timers (a brilliant read I might add that was even more darker and brutal than Full Metal Jacket).
The movie was filmed in two parts. The first half takes place in basic training. We follow the lives of a bunch of new marine recruits that are broken down and dehumanized into soldiers. Doctors and Sergents weed out the people who'll either snap or breaks down (those that can't cut the mustard). Part two deals with a soldier's life during the Tet Offensive and the Battle for Hue City.
Take a look folks because this will probably the last time you'll see a movie about war (made in the U.S.A. and backed by a major film company) to show war as gritty, nasty and vile. With all of the Patriotism/Nationalism going on today, the lines of free speech and censorship are ever so blurred. Stanley Kubrick pulled another one out of his hat by making an anti-war film that shows the brutality of not only warfare but the dehumanization process that recruits go through. Kubrick's gritty film style and hand held camera work was basically copied and stolen by many film makers today (i.e. Steven Spielberg). It's gotten to the point were you can't even enjoy war films anymore because they're all the same (direction, filming and editing wise).
Its 2 movies, the first half good the second ... ehhhh. R. Lee Ermy plays the drill sergeant in the good half and drives hysterical scenes. I think it's supposed to be an anti-war movie, which is the ehhhhh part. It would have been a more convincing comment on "the duality of the universe" if the first 45 minutes hadn't been extremely effective dark comedy.
I was talking to a co-worker one time and we were talking about movies that left huge impressions on us visually. See, we couldn't agree on what could be considered "great writing" for a movie, so the conversation shifted to visuals, which should have been an easier conversation to have. It wasn't. His idea of a visually stunning movie was "The Fast and the Furious," mainly because of how many explosions and cut-away editing tricks that were on display. He asked me what movies I felt were visually … more
Based upon the novel "The Short-Timers" written by co-screenplay writer Gustav Hasford.
Stanley Kubrick's 1987, penultimate film seemed to a lot of people to be contrived and out of touch with the '80s vogue for such intensely realistic portrayals of theVietnam WarasPlatoonandThe Deer Hunter. Certainly, Kubrick gave audiences plenty of reason to wonder why he made the film at all: essentially a two-part drama that begins on a Parris Island boot camp for rookie Marines and abruptly switches to Vietnam (actually shot on sound stages and locations near London),Full Metal Jacketcomes across as a series of self-contained chapters in a story whose logical and thematic development is oblique at best. Then again, much the same was said about Kubrick's2001: A Space Odyssey, a masterwork both enthralled with and satiric about the future's role in the unfinished business of human evolution. In a way,Full Metal Jacketis the wholly grim counterpart of2001. While the latter is a truly 1960s film, both wide-eyed and wary, about the intertwining of progress and isolation (ending in our redemption, finally, by death),Full Metal Jacketis a cynical, Reagan-era view of the 1960s' hunger for experience and consciousness that fulfilled itself in violence. Lee Ermey made film history as the Marine drill instructor whose ritualized debasement of men in the name of tribal uniformity creates its darkest angel in a murderous half-wit (Vincent D'Onofrio). Matthew ...