When he wasn’t busy scoring 3-4 holes in one every time he played golf or coaching North Korea’s soccer team via invisible cell phone, Kim Jong-Il was an avid movie fan, whose favorite films were said to be Rambo and Godzilla. He even wrote a book about filmmaking, On the Art of the Cinema, which contained such passages as:
“Actors must be ideologically prepared before acquiring high-level skills,” he writes, recommending a kind of communist method acting. “No revolutionary actor has ever actually been a Japanese policeman or capitalist . . . To effectively embody the hateful enemy, the actor requires an ardent love of his class and a burning hostility towards the enemy.”
Additionally, you may be required to wash Michael Bay’s Ferrari. In 1978, Jong-Il kidnapped South Korean director Shin Sang-ok, imprisoned him for four years feeding him grass and rice, then abruptly let him out and gave him millions to make propaganda movies. One such movie was Pulgasari, a Godzilla-like monster of capitalism who, like all capitalists, had an insatiable hunger for iron. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Guardian has a more than adequate rundown, and SPOILER ALERT, it includes something called “a lion gun.” God, propaganda is the best.
Pulgasari is a monster of the people. When the wicked king oppresses the people, a jailed blacksmith moulds a tiny character out of rice, declaring he will use the last spark of his creative power to bring the doll to life.
As the farmers are starving under the king’s rule, the doll, Pulgasari, eats iron and grows. The cherubic toddler Pulgasari soon becomes a horned beast whose clawed foot is the size of a person. And since this is a movie made under the guidelines of On the Art of the Cinema, there are seemingly endless shots of the people’s folk dances.