Kim Jong Il was known primarily for his role as the former supreme leader of North Korea, but did you know he was also a mean movie buff?
He amassed an extensive collection of films, some of his favourites included the James Bond series and Friday the 13th movies. He also had a little crush on Elizabeth Taylor. [via inews.co.uk]
Despite his open opposition to everything about Hollywood, the late dictator had a special place in his heart for films produced by his sworn enemy. Author Paul Fischer, in his book A Kim Jong-Il Production, expands on this fascination – which included the kidnapping of a famous South Korean film director. Crazy.
“He amassed arguably the largest private collection of movies anywhere in the world, and his worldview was shaped by movies,” explains Fischer.
When Kim Jong Il met Madeline Albright in 2000, the only thing he wanted to discuss with the former US Secretary of State was that year’s Oscar Nominees. His love wasn’t relegated to only American cinema, though, he also enjoyed South Korean films, too much in fact. In 1978, the dictator kidnapped star director Shin Sang-Ok with his wife, after three years of captivity, the filmmaker was forced to make movies for the state studios which were closely monitored by Jong-Il.
“In that sense, he did make his own films. North Korean cinema was officially a collective effort, in keeping with socialist ideals, which is why they had no end credits for the crew. But if there was anyone creative stamp on the country’s films during the 1970s and 1980s, it was certainly Kim’s,” writes Fischer.
In true dictator style, if he didn’t like what was produced he had a tendency to lash out. Apparently, he would lock screenwriters in a room until they produced something up to snuff.
We wonder if he ever saw himself as the ultimate Bond villain because he would have made a great one.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.