Full Metal Jacket: Context Research

  • The exact dates aren’t known as there was no declaration of war, however it is widely believed that the war started on November 1st 1955 and ended on the 30th April 1975, lasting for roughly 20 years, or 19 years and 180 days more precisely.
  • The war ended in a North Vietnamese victory, with the withdrawal of American forces, which allowed the Viet Cong to take important locations such as Cambodia and Laos, eventually South Vietnam was Annexed by the North
  • The deaths of Viet Cong military and civilians is thought to range around 533,000 people, while a total of 1,450,000 people are thought to have died during the conflict

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Subject: The subject of this photograph are the children running away from the Napalm attack, most notably our gaze is drawn to the nude girl in the centre of the image, who has had her clothes burned off by the napalm.

Composition: The image seems to take the rule of thirds into account, with more being seen on the upper right hand side of the picture than the dead centre. The vanishing point follows the road into the fog of war. I don’t think it’s quite a One Point Perspective image, as the road heads away at an angle and there isn’t a clear centre focus, but it’s close.

Impact: It’s quite an emotional image, seeing the civilians caught up in this war they never wanted and how it’s ruining their lives. The way the US soldiers in the background walk so casually as if they don’t care about the plight of the people they’re supposedly fighting to protect.

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Full Metal Jacket: Context Research

Kubrick project storyboard

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This is the basic storyboard for my Kubrick project. In it the actor will be walking through various different rooms, however he will find that they lead to places they shouldn’t or couldn’t. The film will be about him trying to find his way out of the building. One issue I will have is the entrance to the building, which will be an obvious exit to the building. To get around this I may shoot a scene where he tries to leave through the front but it turns him around keep him from leaving.

Kubrick project storyboard

Stanely Kubrick Essay

Stanley Kubrick Essay

Stanley Kubrick is widely regarded as one of, if not the, greatest film-makers of all time. His use of cinematography and music creates an experience that has kept cinema-goers enraptured for over 50 years now. Throughout his time as a film-maker, Stanley Kubrick showed a remarkable diversity when it came to his films; never sticking to just a single genre, Kubrick was able to master Sci-fi, Horror, Comedy, Historical, War and many others.

In this essay, I will be looking at two different films of Kubrick’s, comparing them and ultimately deciding which I believe is the better film over all.

The first film that I will look at is 2001: A Space Odyssey, this was the first of Kubrick’s films that I watched and was what initially got me interested in studying film. While many Sci-fi films of the time were about Alien Invasions or some kind of Alien Creature attacking people. Kubrick’s film dared to explore new ground. Based on the book by Arthur C Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey featured the story of Dave Bowman, an astronaut working aboard the Discovery, a state of the art space craft tasked with the mission of travelling to Jupiter and finding out what the Luna Monolith’s signal was leading towards. Along the way, he has to overcome the ships murderous AI, driven mad by conflicting orders. While all of this is explained very well in the book. Kubrick decided to go a different approach. Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to fit the entire book into the movie even if he had wanted to, Kubrick decided the best course of action was to show, not tell. Throughout the entire runtime of the 2 hour 41-minute film, there is just over 40 minutes of dialogue, the rest of the time is dedicated to jaw-dropping visuals and mesmerizing musical scores. At release, many people were divided on their opinion of the film, some loved it and called it a masterpiece, others felt it was an overlong bore-fest. This debate continues to this day, though that didn’t seem to affect its box office success. Worldwide 2001 managed to make $68,700,000 in its world-wide box office, which has only increased as he years have gone on. 2001 changed the way the world looked at Science Fiction and even today, decades after it was first released, is still referenced in popular culture.

The other film that I will be looking at is The Shining, based on the book by Stephen King; The Shining was Kubrick’s first foray into the world of Horror. It was here that Kubrick used his knowledge of Camera work to its full effect. His use of One Point Perspective helped the Overlook Hotel feel incredibly claustrophobic and the stilted, disjointed nature of the music really keeps people on edge. One thing that makes the Shining especially interesting is the way Kubrick uses impossible architecture to help people feel uneasy when watching the film. Casual viewers may not consciously notice the architecture, but looking a little closer, people can see rooms that lead to nowhere, that couldn’t possibly exist within the dimensions of the hotel. Even the Hedge Maze, which plays such an integral part of the story is noticeably absent in the only areal shot of the hotel. This puts people on edge, as while in other horror movies people could point out different directions the people could have gone in or places to hide. There are no such places in the Overlook, with its constantly changing layout there is no way to know where the main characters are going to end up next. At its time of release, similarly to 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining was met with mixed responses, though mainly positive, people were somewhat baffled with Kubrick’s decision to almost completely ignore the source material. He did this partially because he knew it would not be possible to adapt the book 100% accurately and also because he wanted to make The Shining his own, rather than just recounting what happened in the book. On its opening weekend, The Shining made a total of $622,337 and its total lifetime gross is about $44,017,374. So, despite being a less controversial film, it didn’t sell as well, though less people also walked out of the theatres during the release so that must be seen as a plus.

The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey are two very different films. One is a Science Fiction epic that asks the question of what Alien Life would actually want with Humanity and what their end game might be. The other is a tense horror film in which a man battles with his inner demons and the far more real demons infesting the hotel. When it comes to which is better, that is a hard question to answer. It really depends on the type of person watching the film and what they want to get out of the experience. When it comes down to which film I prefer, it is again a difficult question to answer, both have their highs and lows, both intrigue me in different ways and both have stunningly brilliant cinematography. If I had to give the edge to one, I think it would be to The Shining, simply because I’ve already seen 2001: A Space Odyssey twice, so I feel as though I have yet more to discover in The Shining compared to 2001.

Stanely Kubrick Essay

UAL Kubrick Archive

Recently we had the opportunity to visit the Kubrick Archive at the University of Arts London. At the Archive we were given a brief talk about the work of Kubrick, how he made his films and some of the ridiculous things he demanded. It was very interesting getting to see props that were actually used in his films, like the knife and grenade from ‘Full Metal Jacket’

One thing that everyone was excited for was being able to go into the archive and see all of the boxes that stored the research and props that Stanley had collected over the years. Unfortunatley before we got a chance to go inside, the fire alarm went off and we ended up spending a good 20 minutes waiting outside to be let back in. When we eventually did get back in, we only really had the time to finish the talk, take some pictures of the display that had been prepared before hand and ask some questions. This was very annoying, especially when I learned that the group after us had been able to go into the archive and take a look around.

Out of all of the props on the display, I think my favourites to look at were the grenade and knife from Full Metal Jacket, the ‘All Work and no Play makes Jack a Dull Boy’ Manuscript from The Shining and come of the concept art for 2001: A Space Odyssey. They were all very interesting to look at, especially the 2001 concept art as 2001 is one of my favourite movies.

UAL Kubrick Archive

Tate Modern Task

1: Which piece of art did you choose? What’s the title?

I chose Babel by Cildo Meireles which was made in 2001

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Describe its style, was it Futurism, Cubism, Realism, Modernism….?

It’s a mix between Conceptual art and Installation art.  On one hand it brings to life the concept of the Tower of Babel from the Bible and puts a unique twist on it, however the sheer size and scale of the project, combined with how complex it is to put together makes it an installation art piece as well, as it currently stands, it is unlikely to leave the Tate Modern for a while.

Does it tell a story, or is it just about the Material?

According to the creator, ‘Babel’ is meant to represent a tower of incomprehension. It’s based on the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible, in which Humanity builds a massive tower in order to reach God, God in response is angered and destroys the tower before cursing Humanity to speak in separate languages.

What do you know of the Artist?

Cildo Meireles was born in 1948 in Brazil. He is a Conceptual Artist, Installation Artist and Sculptor. He is noted especially for his installations, many of which express resistance to political oppression in Brazil. These works, often large and dense, encourage a phenomenological experience via the viewer’s interaction.

Why did you choose it?

I chose this piece because I found it interesting. I like how he created this representation of an ancient biblical story but was able to adapt it to fit modern circumstances and I like how the newer radios are positioned at the top while the older ones are at the bottom. I like that the radios are in no random order and that each type of radio has its own row on the tower. (“Cildo Meireles (Born 1948) | Tate”)

Bibliography:

“Cildo Meireles (Born 1948) | Tate”. Tate. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

“Babel, Cildo Meireles 2001 | Tate”. Tate. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Tate Modern Task

College Tour: Locations

Today we went on a tour of our college in preparation for our Stanley Kubrick project. The idea was to find locations that would be suitable for our filming. We explored both the North and South site in order to find places that would fit our ideas. We had to look at lighting, layout and decoration in order to discern the type of mood the location would permeate and how well we could use it in our future projects. I in particular found the hallways in the south site to house a kind of menacing feeling. In the future I may incorporate them into my projects. I was discussing with a few of my classmates and they agreed that the halls and quiet room in the south site were both good locations and that we would likely visit them again for filming. Another bonus of the south site is that it’s relatively empty, this means we can shoot there without disturbing too many people and without having to wait for clear hallways to shoot.

College Tour: Locations

Symmetry task

Symmetry in Architecture

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I like how this image turned out, I think as a one point perspetive shot it looks really good. Everything is symmetrical and I like the pillar just behind the desk. I also like the slight Asymmetry provided by the woman sitting at the desk, which I think makes the image more interesting as a whole. However I don’t like how grainy the image is, it couldn’t really be helped due to the low quality camera used to take the image, but I wish I could have made it better. I also dislike the window glare, I would have preferred it if there was a blank wall there or if the window didn’t have the glare and you could see out of it easily.

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This image I took a few years ago in Durham cathedral. I really like the way it looks, with the raised roof and designs on the pillars, the tapestries hanging on either side and the light pouring through the circular window. Some things that could be improved are image quality, this image was taken with an even lower quality camera than the one above, so it much smaller. I also feel that it’s not quite lined up correctly, due to me taking the picture very quickly (Photography wasn’t allowed in the cathedral)

Symmetry in Nature

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I like this photo as it combines architecture and nature in a way, with how the bridge is slightly overgrown. Like nature taking over once more. I also like how one half of the little island at the bottom is almost barren compared to the other, which is full of flora. Another thing I like is how it’s surrounded by water, it makes it feel isolated in a way. I think the way the bridge support acts as a line for the symmetry without going the whole way across the screen is nice too, and the fact that the image is taken from the top down, it can feel a little disorienting, like the water is flowing downwards and the island is sticking up in the air.

Symmetry in People

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This image I like due to the creepy atmosphere it gives off, the darkened hallways with the shadowy figure. I think the slight off centreing helps to give this eery feeling that something isn’t quite right. I like how the green trees are on either side of the figure as well, they sort of create the illusion of wings. Another thing that I like about this image is the lighting behind the figure, it seems warm and inviting while the figure seems dangerous and foreboding, it provides a nice contrast.

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This image was an attempt to capture symmetry in myself, using a mirror, I’m not 100% happy with it as I feel not enough of my face is visible on the left hand side and I don’t like how dark it is in places. One thing I do like is the reflection of the door in the mirror, which I think creates a nice effect, especially since it’s slightly distorted by the curve in the mirror itself.

Symmetry task