Irruptions of the Sacred in a “World of Shit”: Profanity, Sacred Words, and Cinematic Hierophanies in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987)

  • Author(s): Joseph E. Bisson
  • When: 2012-04
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • Full Metal Jacket remains embedded in the consciousness of the popular culture mainly because of its abundance of profane language, violent imagery, and salacious set pieces. The juxtaposition of profane language and imagery with sacred language and religious symbolism reveals that Kubrick’s Vietnam film has powerful religious overtones that comprise an important element of the film’s critique of homo religiosus and the modern human condition. By continually juxtaposing the sacred and profane, Kubrick created “cinematic hierophanies” that advanced a cultural critique that inventively integrated ideas from some of the mid-20th Century’s greatest interpreters of myths -- Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Mircea Eliade.

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