We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vaults to bring you a series of some of our favourite photographs from behind the scenes of a Stanley Kubrick film, brought to you by the wildly talented actor and photographer Matthew Modine. It’s a diary like no other.
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 landmark Vietnam war epic Full Metal Jacket. What transpired was a beautifully intimate and curiously candid look behind the scenes of a modern cinematic masterpiece. It’s a style of documentation that offered an authentic viewpoint, one which we’re not likely to see again any time soon.
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. All the while still keeping the humanity that runs through both Kubrick’s vision of the conflict and war at large.
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 and the toll it takes on all those involved. Balanced by the smiles of actors on the day job, the diary provides one of the clearest visions of “life on the set” we have to hand.
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. In part, as an attempt to get into character as the Marine Corps journalist and in part to aspire to Kubrick’s own past as a “Look” photographer, Modine adopts the role of the serial observer with ease and talent.
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.
(All shots ©Matthew Modine and sourced via Flavorwire)