Stanley Kubrick is an American director born on July 26, 1928 in New York City, New York. As a child, he never flourished academically and his class attendance was consistently subpar. Despite his lack of academic success, Kubrick showed signs early on of a natural love for photography and literature. He wrote for his school newspaper and worked for Look Magazine on the side. After graduating from William Howard Taft High School, he continued to work for Look as a photographer. Although he made a few short films throughout the years, his film debut was entitled The Killing, released in 1956. Afterward, his reputation as a director skyrocketed and he would go on to create some of the most acclaimed films of all time, such as The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Dr. Strangelove.
Later on in his career, Kubrick released a film, Full Metal Jacket (1987), starring Matthew Modine and Adam Baldwin. It tells the story of the US Marines and their personal experiences during the Vietnam War. Kubrick delves into the psychological ramifications of fighting for one’s life and country, therefore creating a thoroughly complex film that will leave audiences feeling an immeasurable empathy for the armed forces.
Upon its release, Full Metal Jacket received positive reviews for its provocative portrayal of the Vietnam War. Desson Howe of Washington Post states that Kubrick “has overtaken the homegrown Viet Pack of Coppolas, Ciminos and Stones to make the most eloquent and exacting vision of the war to date.” The film was ultimately nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium as well as a Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.