The Washington Post’s Lloyd Rose interviewed Stanley Kubrick prior to the release of his 1987 film set during the Vietnam War.
“… ‘We were just going for the way it is,’ he says, unable to resist a chuckle, perhaps thinking about all the film buffs who will be chewing on it for years.
“‘I certainly don’t think the film is anti-American,’ he expands. ‘I think it tries to give a sense of the war and the people, and how it affected them. I think with any work of art, if I can call it that, that stays around the truth and is effective, it’s very hard to write a nice capsule explanation of what it’s about.’
“He mentions last year’s Vietnam blockbuster, with which ‘Full Metal Jacket’ has inevitably been compared. ‘I liked ‘Platoon,’ … ‘It’s very different. I think ‘Platoon’ tries to ingratiate itself a little more with the audience. But then, I have enough faith in enough of the audience to think that they are able to appreciate something which doesn’t do that. At least you’re not bored. I don’t know if you go to the movies a lot, but that’s one of the biggest problems.’ …
“… (Kubrick) insists that he never set out to put his stamp on the Vietnam War Movie. As always, he says, he just wanted to tell a good story.
“‘There are certain things about a war story that lend itself to filming,’ he says, ‘but only if the story’s good. There’s something about every kind of story. There’s something about a love story with Greta Garbo in it. Whether it’s a war story, or a love story, or an animal story … I would say it’s the story, not the subject.’”