Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Full Metal Jacket blooper, etc.

As I was catching a rerun of Full Metal Jacket today, I observed one sign betraying(?) the fact that the Parris Island Marine boot camp scenes were actually shot in London: the toilets all had black seats on them, something I've never encountered in the US.

The film itself is perhaps Kubrick's most complex creation, with a strange formal structure that relates in surprising ways to the actual thematic content of the story. Bill Krohn's article, archived at The Kubrick Site, probably sheds the most light on Kubrick's intentions with regard to structure. Contentwise, what distinguishes Full Metal Jacket from other, inferior Vietnam films is its studied neutrality and refusal to manipulate emotions, forcing the audience to make up its own mind on each of the characters.

I've always had difficulty fully comprehending the depth of information that the movie attempts to convey and, to date, I haven't quite figured out what the ending really means. The film is about the Jungian conflict between the individual and the collective unconscious, but who triumphs at the end? (See Michael Herr's essay and this newsgroup discussion.)

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