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Full Metal Jacket Diary [Hardcover]

Matthew Modine
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

25 Oct 2005
Despite the infamous reputation of the enigmatic Stanley Kubrick, Matthew Modine couldn’t refuse his offer. Faced with the prospects of a career-defining role and mentorship by a cinematic great, the 24-year-old Hollywood actor arrived in London armed with a large-format Roliflex camera–inspired by Kubrick’s early career as a Look photographer–and a notebook to record his own on-set reportage; preparation for his starring role as a Marine Corps journalist.

But expectations eroded as a strange, creeping sickness pervaded the set, a horrific accident sidelined a principal, and an unexpected rivalry arose with a co-star. And as the months dragged on, take-by-take, Modine realized he was falling victim to a manipulative mind-game of the Grand Master himself.

By the time his tour of duty ended a year and a half later, Modine had shot hundreds of photos and written countless entries. Only now–after two decades and the death of Kubrick–can Modine look back on his images and words. The result–a coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of a seminal Vietnam saga.

A book like no other, Stanley Kubrick would have been the first in line to buy Full Metal Jacket Diary.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Rugged Land Books (25 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590710479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590710470
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 24.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 887,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, if thin, read. 3 Sep 2008
Some interesting photographs (Modine is an accomplished photographer), but very little in the way of new information about the seemingly endless production schedule of the film.

Well worth having, though, as it is a beautifully produced book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 22 Nov 2005
By Eric Vondy - Published on Amazon.com
Having seen Full Metal Jacket numerous times and being a big Kubrick fan I couldn't resist owning this book. The photos are stunning. Modine has a photographer's eye and it shows. What I found more interesting was the diary. Even twenty years later it must have been difficult to publish such candid thoughts. In it Modine reveals his jealousies and problems with other actors. To one he says something like: 'You're everything I'm afraid I'll become.' Oddly, the actor was not bothered by this statement. This isn't to say Modine is a whiner. His feelings were probably natural for any actor on any movie set particularly one made by Kubrick. For example, Kubrick demands Modine return to the set literally hours after his wife gives birth to their first child. Modine complies not wanting to hold up production. The demands Kubrick places on cast and crew are legendary and Modine delves into them. And then there's Modine's trepidations about a sex scene with Papillion Soo Soo... On the other hand, Modine talks about the way the film changed as they shot it. The ending was altered radically and it may be because of Modine's random thoughts or maybe because Kubrick was waiting for Modine to realize what he had realized. Whatever the case Modine played was a major influence in the direction Kubrick took while filming. Modine's diary is a blunt testimony to the heaven and hell it was for a young actor to star in Kubrick's last great movie.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for fans of the film... 27 Oct 2005
By Carolyn F. Silva - Published on Amazon.com
...although fans of the film will most appreciate the great photographs and inside scoop on Stanley Kubrick, the cast and crew, and the movie-making details. (Thanks, Mr. Modine!)

The packaging of the book -- in a "full metal jacket" with a serial number -- is clever marketing that only enhances the subject, not takes away from it.

All in all, an intellectual and tactile pleasure.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read" for Full Metal Jacket lovers 26 Dec 2005
By shae - Published on Amazon.com
One word. WOW.

My husband got me this book for Christmas and I couldn't be happier. I love this movie and always wondered how Kubrick found these actors and got these unbelievable shots. I was shocked to find how much of my perceptions of Kubrick's genius were actually stumbled upon accidentally or ideas from cast members! (Don't get me wrong, much of it was still Kubrick's genius!)

The book covers dialogue and conflicts between cast and crew, personal thoughts of Modine, how the film was made, how the actors were chosen, etc. It also gives away many secrets of the movie.

The way Modine keeps this journal is strikingly similar to the way Joker narrates the movie... as you read the pages of the journal you can almost hear Joker narrating to you -- the writing style and broken sentences make you feel almost as if you're watching an after-thought to the movie with the same voice walking you through.

One thing that troubles me... the book references multiple instances where parts and scenes were filmed (over and over and over again! Modine's main problem while the movie was being filmed) but are NOT in the final cut. For examnple, the sex scene, Animal Mother decapitating the sniper... neither are in the actual film. But the book doesn't acknowledge that.. I would like to know why they were left out after so many months of filming those scenes over and over.

This diary gives an interesting perspective on what it was like to *live* Full Metal Jacket, not just watch it. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the film.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only an extremely beautiful book... 30 Oct 2005
By Joseph J. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
in words, pictures and design,"Full Metal Jacket Diary" is most of all a unique and honest book about the realities of film making at it's extreme. Such are few and far between.

In it Matthew Modine takes you through two years of heaven and hell working for the enigmatic genius film director, Stanley Kubrick, as an actor starring as Private Joker in "Full Metal Jacket".

What started as a three month shoot turned into years with no end in sight.. This tale of Kubrick's conscious or unconscious manipulation of both cast and crew to achieve his vision is a fascinating account of genius and perhaps insanity.

Within this alternate reality, the damp chill of England slowly broke Kubrick's men down. much like the heat of jungle did in Vietnam.. Modine has captured the madness of the war of making movies unlike any other book I have read.

Matthew Modine's stunning black and white images and his passionate words of a young actor's very difficult personal journey are unique and compelling. He became a father during the filming just as Chernobal blew its stack and was told everyone would be fine except for nursing infants. Such is the glamour of film making.

Yet despite the hardships and stress, he portrays a compelling and unique reverence for Stanley Kubrick and his vision. . It's straight from the heart.

In any event had Modine not become a brilliant actor, he could have been a kick ass, no holds back war correspondent and photographer. If you like Kubrick, Modine or are at all interested in what making a film really can be like, this is the best twenty bucks you will ever spend.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A straight and quick review without giving too much away. 30 Nov 2005
By FfW - Published on Amazon.com
-The metal book jacket is gimmicky. But I doubt anyone would really buy this book for the jacket alone.

-The overall physical quality of the book is quite good. A top production; quality paper and printing.

-Photos are candid and vary in subjects. Cast, crew, family, and even vacation photos are present. There are only a handful of photos of Kubrick, and IMO none that stay in the mind, unfortunately.

-The diary is a quick read. Not unlike Michael Herr's book "Kubrick."

-The diary covers the onset production of Full Metal Jacket, in addition to some of Mr. Modine's private life offset during production. Some of the finest entries are short conversations between Mr. Modine and Kubrick and others.

-I would say that Mr. Modine's personal insights into his fellow cast and crew are the jewels of this book. This alone is worth the price. As a fan of Kubrick I feel a few more blanks in his puzzle have been filled. Not only of him, but also of his working habits and those with whom he worked. There are a couple shared moments between actor and director that I felt were quite touching.
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