Literature course hosts Stephen King adaptation event for Winter Term students
Assistant Professor of English Dan Burns invited two Asheville film critics to campus Saturday, January 13 for an evening double feature and discussion of two King classics: "Carrie" (1976) and "Stand by Me" (1986).
2017 was a red letter year for fans of Stephen King, with film adaptations of the author’s work. Indeed, two “blood-red” letters in particular—IT—translated to the largest box office gross worldwide ($700 million) of both King’s career and the horror genre generally.
Inspired by popular student reaction to the new adaptation’s release in September, Assistant Professor of English Dan Burns invited two Asheville film critics to Elon on Saturday, Jan. 13 for an evening double feature and discussion of two King classics: "Carrie" (1976) and "Stand by Me" (1986).
“Asheville Movie Guys” Bruce Steele and Edwin Arnaudin regularly lead hosted screenings for capacity audiences: a popular fixture of the city’s downtown arts scene for the last three years. Invited to speak to Burns’ topics in literature course on Stephen King, Steele and Arnaudin engaged with students about everything from the author’s imaginative impact on contemporary popular culture and media to the social, historical, and political backgrounds for King’s coming of age-themed novels and their adaptations.
As one student noted after the event, “Thinking about Stephen King's books and movies apart from a strictly horror context gives those stories an unexpected resonance—even 30 to 40 years after publication or release. Bruce and Edwin’s accessible approach brought this home with a fresh, timely perspective that kept everyone absorbed the whole night.”
Critic-partners in the screening initiative, Steele and Arnaudin shared a wealth of experience from the fields of media studies, journalism, and cultural criticism with Elon’s campus community.
Former Editor-in-Chief for The Advocate (1999-2006) and Managing Editor of Out (1992-1998), Steele is the current planning editor for the Asheville Citizen-Times and lead film critic for the Asheville Scene (the Citizen-Times’ entertainment division). He holds an master's degree in film history, theory, and criticism from Columbia University. Arnaudin, with a master's in library and information science from UNC-Chapel Hill, is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress and also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com. Both are members of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA).
Grant funding for this special event was generously provided by the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic and Inclusive Excellence and the Office of Substance Education.