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Posts Tagged ‘Kim Jong-il

Lights! Camera!…

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In all of the rumination on the death of Kim Jong Il, on his legacy, and on what his passing means for the future, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to the Dear Leader’s role as an avatar of the arts (he once wrote six operas in two years, the official North Korean News Agency reported), nor more particularly as a champion of the cinema.

Jong Il had a collection of over 20,000 foreign films (his favorites were apparently the Rambo series and Friday the 13th), and wrote several books on cinema– both critical works and “how-to.”  Then, in 1978, his frustration with the lack of world-class directors in his domain led him to arrange for the kidnapping of South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his actress ex-wife, Choi Eun-hee.  They tried to escape but eventually relented, remarried at the encouragement of Jong Il, and made a string of movies for him including the Godzilla “homage”  Pulgasari.

The following year, 1986, Shin and his wife escaped while attending a film festival in Vienna.  Shin migrated to the U.S. where he directed (as “Simon Sheen’) 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up, then served as an executive producer on 3 Ninjas Kick Back and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain.  He returned to South Korea in 1994.

Meantime, the Dear Leader turned his attention to sport (on his 62nd birthday, he played his first round of golf, completing a par 72 course in 34 strokes, with a record 5 holes-in-one), to developing North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability, and to using that threat to leverage food aid for his starving people.

For more illustrations of the ways in which absolute power corrupts absolutely, see this Daily Mirror list of “Bizarre Details of the Dear Leader’s Life.”

As we sob uncontrollably, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that Vincent Van Gogh, after a heated argument with Paul Gaugin, cut off his own left ear.

Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print, January 1889 (source)

Written by LW

December 23, 2011 at 1:01 am

Signs of the Times, Part 666…

 

Earlier missives have covered the ironic antics of Bansky (e.g., here).  Now, in the spirit of his faux Paris Hilton CD covers, TrustoCorp and their “Tabloid Magazine Interventions“…

As Arrested Motion reports:

… they’ve gone into magazine stands, bookstores and pharmacies throughout Hollywood, Manhattan, Williamsburg, LAX and JFK to drop copies of these little artistic interventions for the unsuspecting public.

No details were spared as headlines blasted celebrities and public figures like Lindsey Lohan, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump in hypothetical features of entertaining variants for ever popular gossip magazines such as US, People and OK. What’s more is that each page of the tabloid have an embedded alphanumeric code that leads to a secret website for people that can figure it out. So keep your eyes peeled as you pass by your local newsstands as you may be lucky enough to find that TrustoCorp made a special delivery in your neighborhood.

See the rest of the covers at Arrested Motion.

And visit the TrustoCorp site for an interactive map revealing the locations of the signs that the collective has helpfully distributed around Manhattan, signs like…

Lexington and 24th

Greenwich and Morton

 

As we celebrate semiotic significance, we might recall that it was on this date in 1833 that the first successful “penny newspaper,” the New York Sun, was first published.  While it is probably best remembered for its 1897 editorial “Is There a Santa Claus?” (commonly referred to as “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus”), it also published “The Great Moon Hoax” (featured here recently), and Edgar Allan Poe’s “Balloon Hoax.”

We also have the Sun– more specifically, its managing editor from 1863-1890, John Bogart– to thank for that oft-quoted definition of the journalistic enterprise: “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”

source

 

The Dear Leader’s Gaze…

Looking at dinner

Looking at son and Dear-Leader-Apparent Kim Jong-un

More stolen glances at Makemisteaks‘ insightful “Kim Jong-il Looking at Things.”  (TotH to Rebecca MacKinnon)

As we reach for our lens cloths, we might recall that it was on this date in 2002 that North Korea rejected the International Atomic Energy Agency’s call to allow inspections, saying the U.N. nuclear watchdog was abetting U.S. policy toward the North.  Ten years earlier North Korea had abrogated its participation in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but then agreed the following year to freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear weapons program in exchange for international aid to build two power-producing nuclear reactors. The following month, in his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush lumped North Korea with Iran and Iraq as the “Axis of Evil.”

Looking at atomic test site (source)

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