Sidetracks: Two pieces about FMJ

16 05 2008

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0030.html

 The “big three” Vietnam War films tend to be Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, and Platoon, and all three take very different approaches to what is a pretty complex subject. Apocalypse Now has some extremely realistic touches (the large number of black troops, the use of drugs, etc.), and the nightmare quality of the film’s fantastic elements certainly squares with what a lot of vets report as their own, subjective experience. Platoonwas a pretty conventional film in terms of technique, but it did succeed in providing to the audience a gut-level sense of what is was like to serve in a combat unit in Vietnam — and given that Oliver Stone is the only filmmaker I know of who actually served in Vietnam, it’s not surprising.

Full Metal Jacket seemed to me to be after something different than the other two– to make some kind of analysis of what makes people into killers. The original book, The Short-Timers, is very much of the Vietnam experience: realistic, frightening, and written in an amazing kind of language that echoes the uniqueness of Viet-speak — the slang, the jargon, the sense of world-weary cynicism; I don’t think one can make a case that any of these films is any more or less “realistic” than the other, though Apocalypse certainly goes into its own fantastic territory.Full Metal Jacket and Platoon were written and/or directed by men with extensive experience in Vietnam, and from what I’ve been able to pick up, both of them seem to be fairly realistic representatioons of service in Vietnam.

 


On Kubricks FMJ — a good essay
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0030.html

QUOTE: Full Metal Jacket seemed to me to be after something different than the other two– to make some kind of analysis of what makes people into killers. The original book, The Short-Timers, is very much of the Vietnam experience: realistic, frightening, and written in an amazing kind of language that echoes the uniqueness of Viet-speak — the slang, the jargon, the sense of world-weary cynicism; I don’t think one can make a case that any of these films is any more or less “realistic” than the other, though Apocalypse certainly goes into its own fantastic territory. Full Metal Jacket and Platoon were written and/or directed by men with extensive experience in Vietnam, and from what I’ve been able to pick up, both of them seem to be fairly realistic representatioons of service in Vietnam.


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