Free Movie Friday: Pulgarasi (1985)

A while ago I took a look at a film theory book by Kim Jong-Il I mentioned how on Open Culture they also linked to a copy of one of his films available on YouTube. I’ve recently watched it and, if curious, you can take a gander here. It’s a North Korean communist take on a Kaiju-type story.

Things to bear in mind:

  • The video quality of this YouTube upload is not ideal.
  • Turn on CC and there will be Spanish subtitles. Using the Auto-Translate function removes most of the issues.
  • The narrative is better than expected
  • Sound effects are at times nonsensically juxtaposed to the action, seemingly by accident.
  • The pacing is miserable. It’s 95 minutes long but feels like it takes at least a half-hour longer.
  • The first act is it’s best but it takes a precipitous dive from there. The introduction of Pulgasari serious downgrades the amount of gravitas it can hope to achieve and there is not much escapist fun either.