Feb 7, 2008

10th Februrary 2008 ; Stanely Kubrik's Full Metal Jacket

"The dead know only one thing: it’s better to be alive."
– Private Joker (Matthew Modine)

A Film by Stanley Kubrick
An Epic Story of the Vietnam War
Year 1987
English with English sub tittles
Run time : 116 Min
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium , Ganapathy
10th Feb 2008 ; 5.45 pm

First movement: At a Marine boot camp on Parris Island, a squad of young recruits are brutalized by Sergeant Hartman, a horrifyingly funny drill instructor whose face and voice so dominate the film’s first section that only two other characters are permitted to develop a semblance of psychological individuality: a wise ass named Joker and a dumb farm boy named Pyle, whose propensity for screwing up makes him the main target for Hartman’s brutality, and that of his own comrades, until he goes mad and shoots his persecutor in the latrine.

Second movement: Cut to Da Nang, where Joker and a gung ho newcomer named Rafter Man have drawn easy duty as correspondents for the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes, and suddenly the tension of the first part dissipates, the structure of the film loosens to the point of entropy and the narrative is set adrift, as if we were watching outtakes from a film whose story we haven’t completely under stood. We follow Joker and Rafter Man from the placid corruption of Da Nang, broken only by a curiously anemic sequence showing the let Offensive, to the countryside around Hue, where they join a seasoned combat unit called the "Lusthogs" for an assault on Hue, overrun by the Vietcong. The drifting, fragmentary, anti-dramatic feeling of these sequences is heightened in the aftermath of the assault, when a television crew films the characters speaking in choreographed succession like actors in a bad Broadway play about Vietnam, then addressing the camera directly in inter views .

It is only during the last minutes of the film that a sense of narrative progression returns: as the Lusthogs patrol the streets of Hue, they find themselves pinned down by an invisible sniper who turns out, when Joker penetrates her stronghold, to be a teenage girl. Cut down by Rafter Man’s bullets, the sniper is slow to die, and only Joker is willing to put her out of her misery with a bullet through the head. Afterward, we see American soldiers marching at night silhouetted against a fiery landscape, singing the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme song, while Joker, barely distinguished from the horde by the last of a sparse series of laconic voiceovers, informs us that he is no longer afraid.

In war, which from a mass viewpoint predicates success on the acknowledgment of dichotomies and sides, there can be no one answer. Kubrick brings individuality back to cinema viewers by destroying it on screen. The final march, comprised of faceless silhouettes, is as democratic a gesture as an artist can give us. In that moment we are one and we are all.

Stanley Kubrick:

The Master Filmmaker

“The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can
interest as it conveys emotions and moods that
no other art form can hope to tackle.”

July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999

"I would not think of quarreling with your interpretation nor offering any other, as
I have found it always the best policy to allow the film to speak for itself."

Stanley Kubrick was an influential and acclaimed American master of cinema and producer considered among the greatest of the 20th Century. He directed a number of highly acclaimed and sometimes controversial films. Kubrick was noted for the scrupulous care with which he chose his subjects, his slow method of working, the variety of genres in his movies and his reclusive personality about his films and personal life.

Click here for trailer of Full Metal Jacket

Stanley Kubrick was born on July 26, 1928 in the Bronx, New York City. By age 13 he had developed passions for jazz drumming, chess, and photography. At 17 years of age he landed a job at Look magazine as a photographer. Worked there for several years, traveling all over America. He enrolled as a non-matriculating student at Columbia University and attended the Museum of Modern Art film showings as often as they changed the program.
In 1951 at 23 years of age, Kubrick used his savings to finance his first film, a 13 minute documentary . After short films like Flying Padre and The Seafarers , in 1953 he raised $13,000 from his relatives to finance his first feature length film Fear & Desire and in 1955 he raised $40,000 from friends and relatives and shot his second feature Killer’s Kiss. After that with the release of Killing & Paths Of Glory, Kubrick never looked back. Till the day he died . Kubrick was involved in his films and gave the world nothing but masterpieces - Spartacus (1960) , Lolita (1962) ,Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) , A Clockwork Orange (1971) , Barry Lyndon (1975) , The Shining (1980) , Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999) ,

Cult of Kubrick is alive and well

Death is clearly no deterrent for cult filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. It has been nine years since he passed away, but the next couple of years may reveal a lot more of his unfinished work.
After being credited for creating the film Artificial Intelligence: AI -- adapted by Steven Spielberg -- Kubrick's notes of over half a century ago are being turned to again, for three new projects. Media reports promise one film that could provide a link between the director's two masterpieces, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.
According to a report in The Sunday Times, UK, the manuscripts were found after Kubrick's death, in one of many trunks at his home. His son-in-law Philip Hobbs, who worked with him for over a decade, maintains that two manuscripts were almost full scripts -- an anti-war film called The Down Slope, and the other called God Fearing Man, about a priest who became a bank robber.
The most exciting discovery is that of an 80-page script for a mystery-thriller titled Lunatic at Large, about an escaped axe-murderer. The wheels have already begun to turn and, apparently, Colin Farrell has been offered the lead role. Lunatic at Large may be directed by Christopher Palmer, one of Britain's leading advertisement directors.

Proof that the cult of Kubrick is alive and well.

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