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Full Metal Jacket Diary 
Written by: on February 2nd, 2006
Full Metal Jacket Diary
Written By Matthew Modine
Book Design by HSU+ASSOCIATES
Published by Rugged Land
Approx. 300 pages, Copyright 2005.
ISBN 1590710479 (US Limited Edition)

MAXIM Magazine & GIANT Magazine Book of the MonthNovember 2005

I wanted to see exotic Vietnam… the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture… and kill them.” – Private Joker, Full Metal Jacket

This book is a jack of all trades.  Is this considered a photo book?  Is this perhaps an actors diary?  Is it about the film Full Metal Jacket?  Yes, and even more than above.  In whole, its a personal account of an actor who strives to take a role of a lifetime.  The struggle from start to finish all noted and recounted after all these years.

The high quality layout and design of this book surpasses all prior Kubrick cult books.  The compiled diary entries for the most part is generally printed in either black or gold in a old typewriter font against a white background.  The lush black and white photos that bleed to the edges are majestic and captures a side of Full Metal Jacket that would have otherwise been lost.  Modine’s skill at photography is so masterful, capturing emotion on celluloid with wonderful composition and lighting, one would think this was Modine’s true profession.  The pages are high gloss with soft, curved edges that fit snuggly with the books cover.  The book is a 9 inch square that sits nicely along other coffee table books.

The unique cover designed by HSU+ASSOCIATES is befitting for such a book.  A steel-brushed Metal Jacket for a Full Metal Jacket Diary.  When the book is opened with some expediency, the binding creeks with satisfaction giving a feel like some important military manual.  The binding simply has the initials FMJD. This Steel Limited Edition with a print run of twenty-thousand is laser etched prominently on its back.  The following edition planned for Full Metal Jacket Diary is rumored to be bound in kevlar.

Matthew Modine memoirs from his diary are strikingly candid, conveying his personal thoughts out in the open.  Modine’s thoughts vacillate to the rational to alienation, leaving readers questioning the face value of Modine’s thoughts.  This was partly contributed to the rugged conditions that everyone faced during the filming of Full Metal Jacket or in fact, every actor faced in any Kubrick film.  All and All, this book reveals as much of his character as the people that surround him.

There are no bad ideas.  Only better ones.” – Stanley Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket Diary

My favorite moment captured in Full Metal Jacket Diary is the conundrum of the special effects department to produce a bloody exploding squib of Private Piles last shot.  Experimenting and almost bringing a crew member to concussion from the blast, they attempt another course of action.  Modine mentions a great shotgun blast scene from “To Live and Die in LA.”  After Kubrick and Modine view the film print at 5 frames a second, Kubrick devises a plan.

Then he says why he’s been accused of doing so many takes.  Because actors don’t know their lines.” – Matthew Modine, Full Metal Jacket Diary on Kubrick

Besides reading about Matthew Modine and Stanley Kubrick in Full Metal Jacket Diary, we’re introduced to Cari Modine, Micheal Herr, Val Kilmer, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kevyn Major Howard, R. Lee Ermey, and others are all acounted for.  The depth and detail spent by Matthew Modine in his diary entries are suprisingly in-depth.  Full Metal Jacket isn’t the only events bought to the table, but also the birth of his first child, moving residence, and his personal conflicts with Vince.  The whole of this book can be read in a single days time yet still memorible, Highly Recommended.

This article originally appeared at MurderedruM.com and is reprinted here with permission.

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