Thrills and Chills: History Department Hosts Fright Film Festival

The UA Little Rock History Department is hosting a Korean Fright Film Festival throughout the semester.

The festival is organized by  the Associate Professor of East Asian History Jeff Kyong-McClain and the History Department Chair Jess Porter.

“I had the idea for several years, then the chair of the department, he arranged for the purchase of a very nice TV and he wanted to have that for something history majors could gather around and have a sense of community. So, the two of us together said lets do a Korean thriller/horror film festival for students and faculty that want to come,” said Kyong-McClain.

The choice to do Korean thrillers came after Kyong-McClain noticed in his classes that a lot of students at UA Little Rock didn’t have a good sense of world cinema. He also said that he knew the Korean cinema was cutting edge globally, that it is very well produced and very well acted.

“I probably like these kind of thriller/dark films personally and I think I’ve shown one of them in my Korean History class. They’re not just entertainment of course. They are entertainment but they also, I think, deal with social issues that’s good for beyond just getting entertained by good cinema. It gets people a little sensible about what might be going on in Korea.” He said.

The first showing was on January 25, and featured the move “Train to Busan.” UA Little Rock student Richard Wexler was one of eight students to attend the first film. Wexler said his favorite part was experiencing a movie from a different culture that he would not normally go out of his way to watch.

“It was a way to interact with the history department and its faculty outside the classroom in a different way and of course who doesn’t like a free movie and popcorn.” Wexler said.

The dates for the festival are Feb. 22 with the showing of “Memories of Murder,” March 29 showing “Mother,” and April 26 showing “Oldboy.” It will be held in the lobby of the History Department located on the sixth floor of Stabler Hall. It is open to all university students and faculty. There will be free popcorn, candy and soda.

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