favorite Your Favorite Kubrick Film

FMJ: The first part is probably some of the funniest in film history and honestly i wish the film was more of that. The 2nd part is basically an entirely different movie, but not one I enjoyed. It's basically just a bunch of random scenes with no sense of direction or story. And the characters, when they start getting killed off I found it impossible to care because I felt like I wasn't given reason to care. And then the movie just kinda ends...

The non-stop stream of abuse that drives someone to suicide is some of the funniest in film history? I mean, I agree, there's definitely some black humor there (I'm actually more of a Herzog fan, and he's all about inappropriate humor), but I've always thought the film is pretty clear as to how you are meant to feel about all of that. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion (which is just as valid as mine)!

But your second point about the movie brings up something I've always loved about Kubrick. He often seems to make a left turn into a completely different style of film, but in a way that when you think about it, relates intimately to the first half. FMJ is a good example, and the ending of 2001 of course (one of my personal favorite film sequences ever). That was one of the things Spielberg NAILED with AI. I do love that movie; I wish Stanley could have done it, but it came out brilliantly as it is.

His films are often complex; there's plenty to think about when you are done, and sometimes you even need to take a moment to think about how you felt about them. Great stuff!
I only saw Full Metal Jacket once when I was 17. Am I fucked up in the head? I thought it was a comedy... a dark comedy... but a comedy.

I don't think you're FUitH at all.

Kubrick made several anti-war films over his career, some of which were very serious - like Paths of Glory. With Dr. Strangelove, he started out with the intent of making a serious adaptation of the Cold War novel "Fail Safe" (which was later re-adapted as a serious film). As he worked on the script, however, he began to recognize the absurdity of the whole situation and, just for kicks, began coming up with scenes and characters that reflected the mind-numbing stupidity of war in general, and the Cold War in particular. Eventually he acknowledged that the satire was far more interesting and effectual in illustrating his point and, with the help of Terry Southern, Dr. Strangelove was born.

He learned a lot from making that film. Full Metal Jacket has its serious side, but - as you say - its portrayal of war - like Strangelove's - is utterly dripping with irony at the unbelievable stupidity of it all.
Ok, I'm glad I'm not completely alone then. :)

@Nick, a couple people in this thread implied it isn't. And I've definitely gotten sideways looks/shocked reactions from people when I mention that I thought it was a comedy...
@Dready -- I've always viewed it as such. I don't see how people could be shocked by that thought. Sure, it's dramatic. But there are strong overtones of dark humor throughout the film.
To JoshL's and 2001's excellant points about FMJ, I would add a thought or two.

The difference between the first part and the second part is a bit jarring. I'm not speaking from experience because I never went to boot camp or went into combat. But I think it works from an anti-war and a storytelling standpoint by first portraying the dehumanizing experience the characters are subjected to in the total institution of the Marines. Then, next, they find themselves on the otherside of the world in Vietnam, killing, being killed, etc. That must have been somewhat surreal and dislocating for a ninteen year old, for anyone.

So, maybe the feeling of dislocation, the seeming sea change presented in the movie is appropriate. Maybe it helps to tell the story that FMJ is trying to tell. Did those kids, the real life ones, get even that easy of a transition/segue from boot camp to war zone that the audience gets?

And though there's nothing funny about it, I agree that it often works as a black comedy, but in terms of the horrible absurdity that life, or human behaviour, often is. So wouldn't this qualify as a tragedy? Though I guess it doesn't necessarily end with the main character's downfall. But it does end with him finding himself in a world of...
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2001: A Space Odyssey as personal fave, for sure. It's not the kind of thing to just pop in at any time for a quick watch, though.

If I was skimming channels late night, or whatever... Spartacus is the best Kubrick flick to be social with. :)
Dr. Strangelove for me but I still haven't seen a lot of his earlier ones like Paths of Glory and Lolita, which I should. I actually didn't think A Clockwork Orange was good and didn't hold together very well in the last half, but that's my opinion.
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2001: A Space Odyssey just might be one of my favorite films of all time. It is a great inspiration to me. The cinematography is amazing. The music is beautiful. And the effects are mind-blowing. The only thing I can criticize about it is the fact that it feels cold, static and lifeless.

I also love Eyes Wide Shut.