Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

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Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:42 pm


What genre is this movie? What characteristics and genre conventions have you found during the screening? Please post pictures or clips to support your comments, if available.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by bethel95 on Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:10 pm

This is an excellent piece of work by Stanley Kubrick; this is not your typical gung-ho war film. In fact I was almost taken aback by how the film had started at the beginning. In contrast to other war successful war films such as Saving Private Ryan or French film Days of Glory, it starts of with a very upbeat and uptown song. with all the marines having their head shaved off in preparation for the brutality of military school. What I found even more surprising about the film was that there was quite a few lighthearted moments during the film and I was enthralled by how Kubrick had decided to add some comedy elements to the film; one of the standout moments in that was when Leonard 'Gomer Pyle' Lawrence was forced in eating his donut whilst all the other squadrons were having to do push ups. 

The fact that Kubrick had decided to be add a balance between having comic relief and some very serious moments in the film regarding  Vietnam War was a very brave move.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:41 pm

Hi bethel95, it is indeed a great war film. The light comedy moments allow to break the tension, but also highlight (by contrast) the brutality of other scenes, whilst at the same time humanising the characters.

 I like that you mention the scene shaving the heads, as it is a common one in war films, signifying the moment in which those men become soldiers, losing not only their hair but also their freedom to some extent.

What other genre conventions can you identify in the film?
It is common for this kind of films to include stories of male bonding, escapes, the death of a friend, the trauma after the war, the trading in the camp (in a similar fashion to that in a prison), the letters from the family, the ill-advised decision of a higher rank, the bully, the bullied (often a character presented as weak who ends up dying in tragic circumstances), the sacrifice, the propaganda, news from the homeland, the other face of festivities and events like Christmas or Thanksgiving, the dehumanisation of the enemy (or the opposite), the futility of the war, the nearly-dead moment, singing in the trenches, bad food, the bubbly comrade (usually the one with the radio), the importance of cleaning the boots... which ones appear here?

Thank you for your work!

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by sheagallagher12 on Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:49 pm

Shea Gallagher/homework-1
In the following analysis I will refer and discuss various elements in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’. The main reason in which I have chosen this film is the wide use of camera technique, mise en scene, cinematography and editing which help to create a very ‘on edge’ climax, that continually builds tension as the films progresses. One scene that really engages the audience is the opening climax, which shows the main antagonists descendent into insanity. From the screenshots shown below Kubrick effectively contrast’s the emotions of the character through the use of camera technique as he is the main element amongst the ominous background thus creating an emotional connection between both the character and the audience. The use of Natural lighting is employed within this sequence to ensure that the entire setting is illuminated allowing the audience to focus on the visual storytelling, there is an absent of dialogue within this scene creating a much more surreal atmosphere for the audience. The incredibly evocative use of dramatic music creates a heart pounding climax for the audience as the character points the weapon at his own head, Kubrick intentionally exaggerates the sequence in order to create a more suspenseful for the viewer.
Various Non dietic sound effects are also employed for example the nauseating sound of gun shots to achieve a very dramatic response from the audience. The shots of private pile are the first clue for the viewer to question the mental stability of the character, as this is the first instance where his true nature starts to be revealed. The shots of Pile gazing walls and facing his captain contrast sharply with each other through the themes of fear and insanity.

The Mise-En-Scene throughout the film contains various military elements ranging from background troops to vehicle’s as shown in the print screens below, the use of the extreme wide panning shot is used to capture all elements of the sequence and create a sense of realism as there are no cuts, they are all continuous long take’s. The employment of this re-occurring effect in the film creates a much more realistic effect almost as if it is stock footage.


During the film, there is a scene where the soldiers have to intercept insurgents s in  the city of hue, the use of the low angle/medium shot is used to give the audience the sense of vulnerability for the antagonists as ‘cowboy’ appears to be much more intimidating from that particular angle. The music starts to build it helps the audience to focus their attention on the visual story telling due to the absence of dialogue, this creates a very dramatic atmosphere making the audience feel almost like they are in the position of the characters creating a sense of realism as it is very clear what is happening, whilst it shows the POV of the soldiers. Kubrick has done this intentionally to create the emotion that the soldier is being followed almost like a documentary type style of filming with the use of shaky camera movement, this suggests that the camera is trying to ‘keep an out of sight’ distance of the characters .The stead cam follows behind him at a low level through one long shot to let the audience see everything the troops are witnessing. The camera angles constantly change almost never facing the protagonist straight on, unless they are talking, which is suggestive that the camera is attempting to dodge the characters face. The mise-en-scene of the misty background of the battlefield creates a much more dramatic effect– a reference to Film Noir. The music throughout the sequence creates an un-nerving sense of vulnerability for the characters when necessary.

 Shea Gallagher/homework-1
In the following analysis I will refer and discuss various elements in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’. The main reason in which I have chosen this film is the wide use of camera technique, mise en scene, cinematography and editing which help to create a very ‘on edge’ climax, that continually builds tension as the films progresses. One scene that really engages the audience is the opening climax, which shows the main antagonists descendent into insanity. From the screenshots shown below Kubrick effectively contrast’s the emotions of the character through the use of camera technique as he is the main element amongst the ominous background thus creating an emotional connection between both the character and the audience. The use of Natural lighting is employed within this sequence to ensure that the entire setting is illuminated allowing the audience to focus on the visual storytelling, there is an absent of dialogue within this scene creating a much more surreal atmosphere for the audience. The incredibly evocative use of dramatic music creates a heart pounding climax for the audience as the character points the weapon at his own head, Kubrick intentionally exaggerates the sequence in order to create a more suspenseful for the viewer.
Various Non dietic sound effects are also employed for example the nauseating sound of gun shots to achieve a very dramatic response from the audience. The shots of private pile are the first clue for the viewer to question the mental stability of the character, as this is the first instance where his true nature starts to be revealed. The shots of Pile gazing walls and facing his captain contrast sharply with each other through the themes of fear and insanity.

The Mise-En-Scene throughout the film contains various military elements ranging from background troops to vehicle’s as shown in the print screens below, the use of the extreme wide panning shot is used to capture all elements of the sequence and create a sense of realism as there are no cuts, they are all continuous long take’s. The employment of this re-occurring effect in the film creates a much more realistic effect almost as if it is stock footage.


During the film, there is a scene where the soldiers have to intercept insurgents s in  the city of hue, the use of the low angle/medium shot is used to give the audience the sense of vulnerability for the antagonists as ‘cowboy’ appears to be much more intimidating from that particular angle. The music starts to build it helps the audience to focus their attention on the visual story telling due to the absence of dialogue, this creates a very dramatic atmosphere making the audience feel almost like they are in the position of the characters creating a sense of realism as it is very clear what is happening, whilst it shows the POV of the soldiers. Kubrick has done this intentionally to create the emotion that the soldier is being followed almost like a documentary type style of filming with the use of shaky camera movement, this suggests that the camera is trying to ‘keep an out of sight’ distance of the characters .The stead cam follows behind him at a low level through one long shot to let the audience see everything the troops are witnessing. The camera angles constantly change almost never facing the protagonist straight on, unless they are talking, which is suggestive that the camera is attempting to dodge the characters face. The mise-en-scene of the misty background of the battlefield creates a much more dramatic effect– a reference to Film Noir. The music throughout the sequence creates an un-nerving sense of vulnerability for the characters when necessary.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by JackZD96 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:04 pm

Full Metal Jacket is a great piece of filming making from director Stanley Kubrick. What I like at the start of the film, is that there is a sense of humour from Sargent Hartman which you wouldn't expect from a typical war film. 

The head shaving scene at the start, is just the same shot of the each character as they are getting their hair shaved off which is an example of loss of identity, and this is a common theme throughout the film. Through this, they are all made to be, and look the same which makes the audience unable to align with any certain character.  

Non-diegetic music is used within this scene. The use of music is used three times throughout as well. The music is sending out an unclear message and this is an example of juxtaposition. 


As the film progresses into the Boot Camp scene, we start to see a group alignment form with the audience and not individual characters through the use of cinematography with the different camera shots that we see. Examples being high angle shots and wide shots used of the group as they are marching together in synchronisation showing that they are all successful together. 

The repetition of form is used throughout the film via mise-en-scene with the use of costume because they are all dressed the same. 

Private Pyle is a character that you mainly concentrate on. The different camera shots on him within the film, shows his isolation to the audience as we learn that he isnt a part of the group. Pyle can't keep up with them all, and he doesn't have the capabilities of doing what they can. 


As you can see, the rest of the group are going in pairs and Pyle is shot on just his own. At this point, you realise that he shouldn't be there, let alone be a part of the group. 

There are some very chilling moments in this film, and some which will make you laugh. Overall, I believe Kubrick done a brilliant job with this film as it would have been such a risk to make one from the war genre with things included in the film that aren't typical from other movies within this category.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by matr1x168 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:46 pm

Full metal jacket:

Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Players: Matthew Modine, R .Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio...

At its forefront, this film is an examination into the minds of soldiers fighting in the Vietnamese war. Seems simple enough and many would classify this as a standard run of the mill 'war' piece. However, if closer examined, this film has elements from multiple genres scattered throughout.

For the first act of the film, the story takes place in a bootcamp setting where we see soldiers going through gruelling drills and tasks to help prepare themselves mentally and physically for fighting in a war. Some of the drills are strenuous and we see several recruits struggling to complete tasks, most notably the character of 'private pile'. The drill instructor played by 'R. Lee Ermey' verbally attacks the recruits throughout the training process and although some of the things he is spouting are horrendous; they can at times be comical and this displays that although at its basis it is a war film (i.e. showing procedural training exercises etc.); it also has the tendency to turn into a dark comedy at times.

The character of 'private pile' is abused not only by the drill instructor but by other recruits; as in one scene they hold him down and beat him with bars of soap. This adds dramatic layers to the film showing that it is not just a flat war film, but instead it is delving deeper into the minds of recruits and showing the dramatic repercussions that training can have on the psychosis.
This character then proceeds to commit suicide before the training program has been completed. This is a very heavy scene as well see the private paint the walls with his blood after firing a shotgun into his mouth. This again shows the dramatic elements of the film's genre being revealed and the framing in particular of this scene helps to build up the tension of the moment:




The way in which the camera lingers on character's faces is an effective technique in establishing tension as we can see their expressions and how scared they are, making us as an audience feel uncomfortable too. When the camera shows 'private pile's' face close-up however we can see just how unhinged he actually is as he has a manic expression on his face. This shows that this film could possibly fall into the category of 'psychological war drama' as we are getting a very detailed look into the effects war and training to kill other men in a war has on the human mind.

When the film switches location to the actually warzone, the genre can be more clearly identified as a standard 'war' film. The set pieces are typical of a standard war film, i.e. 'war-torn' and 'barren':



The soundtrack of the film as well has elements of dark comedy in it.

The song 'surfing' bird' is played over a montage of tanks moving about, soldiers being interviewed etc.:



This song may seem comical and may provide a light hearted juxtaposition to the dark events happening on screen,  but if closer analysed; this song was intentionally put in this film  by 'Kubrick' as a political statement. As the phrase uttered in the song 'bird is the word' was actually a phrase used by people who were against conscription in the American army. 

After the last sniper battle in the film has reached its climax (the sniper battle is reminiscent of a classic war film 'cat and mouse' shootout between two opposing sides), the soldiers start signing the theme song to 'Mickey Mouse clubhouse'. This light hearted song being sung as soldiers walk away from a bloodbath is almost darkly comic in a way and is a blackly humorous way to end the film. 

The song used in the film 'paint it black' by 'the rolling stones' is a song that is avidly appropriate for any war film as the song is about death and wanting to paint everything black (i.e. funeral attire) when someone has passed. This emphasises the idea that war causing nothing but death and sadness, adding a dramatic element to the final act of the film.

Overall, I would place this film in the joint category of 'psychological war drama' as it is too complex and intricate to be just labeled as a 'war' film and it is not darkly funny enough to earn a comedy credit.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

Post by CurtisBrown on Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:40 pm

How is Full Metal Jacket typical of the ‘war’ genre?
 
Full Metal Jacket can be clearly identified as a war film through analysis of a few key scenes and a look at the micro elements. The four micro elements are Mise-en-scene, editing, sound and cinematography.
The first scene to look at is the iconic ‘boot camp’ scene where we see a platoon of random men who lose their identity and are broken down into a core, rather than an individual. We can identify the long shot of the marine core standing to attention at the end of their bunks. It is almost identical to the same boot camp scene in the film ‘Jarhead,’ and this shows us an example that it is a war film.
Another example is the montage of the troops training is a good example because we have a military themed sound track with the bugle playing as they go over the obstacle course.
Paying attention to the cinematography of the first half of the film. Kubrick made the decision to use a special lens on the camera which creates a very flat image, keeping the back ground, and the other troops constantly training and a real sense of order and military throughout.
The mise-en-scene is what really gives the idea of a war film. The first half training scene combined with Vietnam shows a real depiction of war. We see explosions, guns, tanks and gun fights. There is no filter in this film in particular to the content, you are engulfed in warfare and it leaves you with a deeper meaning.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)

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