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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Who Wants to Go to North Korea for Spring Break? I do, I do!

I love things that make me laugh, especially if they make fun of countries led by crazy evil dictators. Heck, who doesn’t?
And if you love evil dictators who, among other things, kidnap filmmakers to force them to make bad movies, this article, titled, “6 Reasons North Korea is the Funniest Evil Dictatorship Ever” is a must read:
“A film buff himself, Kim Jong-il has actually authored a text-book on the subject, a title that is required reading for all film students who are actually CIA agents. Thus, Kim decided that he was just going to have to create great North Korean cinema himself. . .
The Ridiculous Solution:
. . .By kidnapping a famous director and his recently estranged actress wife from South Korea, and forcing them to make, amongst other things, the communist version of Godzilla.”

I once had a chance to see Pulgasari at some film festival (Seattle, maybe?) and missed it. Still kicking myself over that.
Go on, read the rest of the article, it’s all funny as hell … so long as you don’t have to live in North Korea. And don’t forget to go check out the official North Korea website, where, in addition to being dazzled by the amazing web design, you can learn all about how North Korea does not, in fact, oppress homosexuals and join the Korean Friendship Association!
All you need is 50 Euros … and a photocopy of your passport, so they know where to find you. Ahem. And don’t think you can beat the system by just printing your own membership card, either. You can’t fool them.
Oh, and hat tip to Ann Arbor Film Fest‘s Christen McArdle who, in spite of running an awesome fest that kicks off in two days, still found time to light up our gloomy lives by sharing this link.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon