An Analysis Of Genre In Full Metal Jacket

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Genre in Full Metal Jacket Kubrick decides to open Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick: 1987) with the repetition of young men having their heads shaven. We see each man with similar expressions of anxiety and fear, as a song plays non-digetically with lyrics such as, “Goodbye my sweetheart / Hello Vietnam.” An audience would be able to recognize that the film is presenting the process of the men all being equalized, not just going a group of men all deciding to get a hair cut. This being for training to go to Vietnam, and therefore from the first minute the audience can deduce the film will have its genre centered around the war film category. The duality of people’s attitudes toward the Vietnam War which, could be it’s own sub-genre of war films, is expressed in the opening. The sweet patriotic song which says, “America has heard the bugle call / And you know it involves us one and all” combined with the dour faces of the men seek to impose the oppositions of the individual and the group that is so present in films across this genre. We see the expulsion of the individual and hear the song, which reflects how it should be a group effort. The audiences somewhat educated guess into Full Metal Jacket’s genre is rewarded as the film moves into the recruits sleeping area. Again we see the same genre coding consisting of the extremely strict drill-instructor asking the men to, “Sound off like [they] have a pair”, all of the men perfectly lined up and all of them wearing the same green trousers and green shirt. This section shows again how all individuality the men once had has all but left them, the instructor speaks to them as a unit, refers to them as a “weapon”, he even ironically speaks of how the men’s racial background doesn’t matter to him only to find out that to him the men are all “equally worthless”. We also see masculinity depicted in this scene, which is

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