Essential Cinema

Essential Cinema is an ongoing series where we look at groups of films that are essential to understanding a certain subject. It may be films from a certain era, country, by an individual director, or a certain genre. No matter how they're grouped, we think you need to see them.

South Korean Film

We're starting our first Essential Cinema series in honor of Bong Joon-ho's big night at the Oscars by presenting Korean Films! Including Parasite, three of the titles are from Director Bong Joon-ho. Every Wednesday evening screening will be followed by a discussion by Dr. Hye Seung Chung, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at CSU!

Special thanks as well to the Asian Pacific American Student Association of CSU!


February 22nd @ 12:30pm
February 26th @ 6:45pm w/ Discussion

A poor family, the Kims, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family, the Parks. But their easy life gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure.

The Host

February 29th @ 12:30pm
March 4th @ 6:45pm w/ Discussion

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and begins attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.


March 7th at 12:30pm

March 11th @ 6:45pm w/ Discussion

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

A Taxi Driver

March 21st at 12:30pm

March 25th @ 6:45pm w/ Discussion

A widowed father and taxi driver who drives a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising, soon finds himself regretting his decision after being caught in the violence around him.

The Handmaiden

March 28th @ 12:30pm
April 1st @ 6:45pm w/ Discussion

A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.

About Dr. Hye Seung Chung:
Dr. Hye Seung Chung is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. Native to Seoul, she received a Ph.D. in Film and Television from UCLA and taught at the University of Michigan, Hamilton College, the University of Hawaii, and Oakland University before joining CSU in 2011. She is the author of Hollywood Asian: Philip Ahn and the Politics of Cross-Ethnic Performance (Temple University Press, 2006), Kim Ki-duk (University of Illinois Press, 2012), and Hollywood Diplomacy: Film Regulation, Foreign Relations, and East Asian Representations (Rutgers University Press, 2020), as well as the co-author of Movie Migrations: Transnational Genre Flows and South Korean Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2015). She recently launched a new study abroad program (Cinema, Culture, and History in South Korea) for CSU students and teaches Korean cinema in Seoul in the summer.