Full Metal Jacket
Friday, sbs, 8.30pm, MA15+ (1987)
Stanley Kubrick was under no illusions when he set about harnessing the reality of what war does to the human spirit. Full Metal Jacket presents war as a phenomenon. It’s a film of two halves, devoid of politics and strategy, that follows the “dehumanising” of soldiers, first at boot camp, then in combat in Vietnam. R. Lee Ermey (a former drill sergeant in real life) is explosive as Sgt Hartman, Vincent D’Onofrio is haunting as the excessively berated Private “Pyle”, and Matthew Modine (pictured) offers a fascinating portrayal as Private “Joker”– the journey’s pulse – whose ironic, smart-alec disposition underpins the madness. Harrowing, beautiful and unforgettable.