NORTH KOREA-A-RAMA!: The Red Chapel + The Frustrated Fascist Auteurism of Kim Jong-il

The Frustrated Fascist Auteurism of Kim Jong-il – 7:00pm
Ever since his early days overseeing his papa’s “Propaganda and Agitation” department in the late ‘60s, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il has had cinema on the brain: his first mistress was a film star, he reportedly owns several libraries’ worth of DVDs, he’s personally overseen the production of many features — and he’s even written a textbook called “On The Art Of The Cinema”! From overly earnest “tractor operas” to parade-sploitation choreography porn, all the way through to the 1985 Big Rubber Monster-laden anti-capitalist allegory Pulgasari, North Korea’s rich movie culture is ripe for exploration — so join us for a smattering of Cinefamily’s favorite film and video clips culled from decades’ worth of the DPRK’s secret history of light entertainment!

The Red Chapel – 7:30pm
“Incredibly, uncomfortably funny! Like a love child ofThe Idiots and Borat.” — Alison Willmore, IFC.com

Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Red Chapel is perhaps the most dangerous and compelling cinema prank ever committed, and puts all other piddly culture-jammers to shame. In the tradition of Michael Moore, Sacha Baron Cohen and The Yes Men, a trio of Danes — muckracking journalist/TV personality Mads Brügger, comedic straight man Simon and self-proclaimed “spastic” Jacob — fearlessly travel to North Korea under the guise of a “cultural exchange”: pretending to be a small theatre group called The Red Chapel, they present themselves as regime sympathizers and join in on an absurd variety show in Pyongyang, for the purpose of collecting footage of the regime from the inside. Beyond its sharp humor, The Red Chapel is amazing because the stakes are extremely high: our heroes are not just pranking a governor, a CEO or an arena full of beer-blasted hicks — they’re messing with one of the most notorious, mysterious and literally insane Big Brother-esque regimes ever created. Epic, terrifying stuff.
Dir. Mads Brügger, 2009, DigiBeta, 88 min.

Watch excerpts from “The Red Chapel”!
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