Feb 9, 2009

The Juche Idea @ Anthology tonight

When discussing Jim Finn's mindbending faux North Korean artist colony doc The Juche Idea, one easily becomes befuddled. I say that with the utmost admiration for Mr. Finn's film. While sitting on the Gotham Awards' Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You panel (we admired it, but it wasn't ultimately one of our finalists), there seemed to be a general agreement in the room (that oh so well appointed MoMA conference room of my dreams) that The Juche Idea would struggle to find audiences. Here is a film, us professional film appreciators mused, that will only have one venue at its disposal in this city, a place that was once (and may still be) a beacon of underground cinema.

That venue is Anthology Film Archives and sure enough, its the only arena in town for the aesthetic games the ingenious Mr. Finn intends to play. Tonight they screen the film Mike Plante described as a "Marxist-Leninist musical documentary", one which follows a South Korean filmmaker who ventures into the great repressive north to revive the legendarily campy Juche cinema of that country's mad cinephile in chief, Kim Jong-Il. This one of a kind film uses the techniques of Asian propoganda, verite documentary, B sci-fi interludes and various pits of archival footage to create an experience unlike anything else you've ever encountered. By all mean, do yourself a favor and check it out.