Arnon Grunberg

Mr. Kubrick

Basic training

Somewhere in December I saw a documentary by Frederick Wiseman about the Paris Opera Ballet. It was a good documentary, perhaps a tad long-winded.
It was my first introduction to the work of Wiseman.
A couple of weeks ago I went to the MoMa to see Wiseman’s documentary “Basic Training”.
“Basic training” is a documentary about a boot camp during the Vietnam war. It was the first movie of the Wiseman retrospective that the MoMa is showing this year.
After the movie there was time for q and a.
Mr. Wiseman, a well-dressed septuagenarian, said: “Somebody at Mr. Kubrick’s office called me and told me that Mr. Kubrick wanted to see ‘Basic Training.’ I sent a copy of ‘Basic Training’ to Mr. Kubrick’s office and it took me a year to recover the copy. After seeing ‘Full Metal Jacket’ I understood why.”

It’s worth seeing first “Basic Training” and then “Full Metal Jacket”.