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9.11.05 Recruiting film  

Samuel Fuller dismissed Full Metal Jacket as "just another fucking recruiting film." He felt the first half, the sadistic psychic crumpling of the warriors-to-be, would perversely activate its audience's latent testosterone/death-instinct. He'd likely feel the same way about Jarhead, which rips off this sequence. Another relevant auteur quote is Fran├žois Truffaut's observation: that there can be no such thing as an anti-war film because films make war look exciting. That is, the very fabric of the medium, an audiovisual spectacle, glorifies violence. Commenting on soldiers' ironic reception of famous anti-war films, like Platoon or Full Metal Jacket, Mendes' adaptation may pretend it's aware of the limits Truffaut pointed out & Fuller anticipated, but its self-consciousness doesn't help it succeed as an anti-war film. As better critics have said: Jarhead is hackneyed, lacquered, hermetic Oscar bait.

Ab ovo