Candid images from Matthew Modine’s photo diary of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’
Matthew Modine was largely encouraged by his director, the enigmatic and inimitable Stanley Kubrick, to keep a running photo diary of his time playing the role of Private Joker in Kubrick’s Vietnam war epic Full Metal Jacket. What transpired was a brilliantly intimate and candid look behind the scenes of a modern film masterpiece.
Working with the notoriously private and reserved director over a two year period while filming for Full Metal Jacket, Modine manages to capture a startling sense of drama and understanding of the film’s focus – the devastation of war. From the killing of innocent men, women and children to the destruction of the happy lives of those doing the killing, the film and in turn these images show the gravity of working on such a film.
Arriving in London to meet Kubrick armed with his Rolleiflex camera, Modine set about documenting one of the most important war films in modern memory. As part to get into character as the Marine Corps journalist and in part to aspire to Kubrick’s own past as a “Look” photographer.
Offering a view of the artist hard at work as well as at play the shots were recently given an exhibition at Axiom Contemporary in Santa Monica last year to mark 30 years since the picture was released. The exhibition came as part of Modine’s book ‘Full Metal Jacket Diary’ which offers a brand new viewpoint on the director and the film.