Kim Jong-Il wrote a book on cinema!? It’s true. Here’s how the 2015 Academy Award nominees stack up, according to the former Supreme Leader of North Korea.
Kim Jong-Il: Dictator or Film Critic? | Written by: Ben Steiner | Directed by: Jared Bauer
Starring: Mark Schroeder
Edited by: Ryan Hailey
Artwork by: Jacob S. Salamon
Kim Jong-Il: Dictator or Film Critic?
You probably remember Kim Jong Il as the Supreme Leader of North Korea who oppressed millions with his authoritarian regime, but did you know he was also a noted film scholar? His book, On the Art of the Cinema is a real thing that actually exists. It’s quite a read. So I decided to share some of Mr. Kim’s profound insights with you all and show just how his philosophy has finally infiltrated American culture, as evidenced by this year’s Oscar nominees. First and foremost, Kim is a fundamentalist. He teaches that “A film’s images must look good on the screen.” Take, for instance, this giant metal bird from Birdman. Looks pretty good, wouldn’t you say? Coincidence? Kim thinks not.
With regard to camera work, Kim advises that “Both the background and the events involving the main characters in the foreground must be shown.”
In The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ralph Fiennes’ character runs away from the police in an amusing fashion. Now try to imagine this scene without a background. You can’t, can you. Advantage Kim.
On the subject of actors, Kim is once again incisive, noting that “Without the actor, it is impossible to create the film character and, therefore, to make films at all.” You’ll notice that Rick Linklater agrees, having put actors in nearly every scene of his movie Boyhood.
Furthermore, Kim boldly contends that “Good-looking new actors often attract the audience’s attention.” It’s heartening to see Hollywood finally following Kim’s sage advice, taking a behind-the-scenes guy, director Ben Affleck, and letting him put his handsome face to good use. One way to help improve an actor’s physical appearance, Kim argues, is with makeup. “In a film the actor’s face, and the eyes in particular, should be made up well.” Into the Woods mastermind Rob Marshall must have read Kim’s book, because Meryl Streep doesn’t look like Meryl Streep at all. She looks like a scary witch. And the reason for that is because of makeup. That said, looks aren’t everything, and Kim should know. Because of how brilliant he is.
As he proclaims, “The actor’s physical appearance is not the basic requirement for him to portray characters. The nobility and beauty of the actor’s ideological awareness is what is important.” Taking a page from the Dear Leader’s magnum opus, Matthew McConaughey shows his ideology by trying to save our planet from dust, which is a noble and beautiful thing to do.
“But Kim,” you’re probably saying to your computer. “As astute as your observations are, filmmaking isn’t just about cameras and actors. There’s also music.” Well Kim’s way ahead of you. In his estimation, “In order to produce good songs, good lyrics should be written first.” Good lyrics– sound familiar? Let me give you a hint. Everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Especially now that the Lego corporation is part of Kim’s team. Well what about writing? How can a writer write a script when there are literally thousands of words to choose from? Allow Kim to explain: “At a given moment and in a given situation there is only one appropriate thing for a character to say.” Makes sense to me. Whether written by Paul Thomas Anderson or Paul W.S. Anderson, this scene would turn out exactly the same. Of course, Kim couldn’t spend all this time waxing intellectual about form without also waxing about content. To wit: “A film should always demonstrate that the revolution is continuing and that the struggle is being pursued ever more vigorously.”
And nowhere is that struggle more apparent than in Selma, a powerful work that forces us to confront our nation’s shameful legacy of Oscar snubs. Ok, that’s the whole book. Enjoy the Oscars everyone! And remember: there’s a lot of great socialist propaganda out there. You just have to know where to look.