The inevitable Hunger Games thread

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In that I can't seem to stop hearing about it now with the various movie casting announcements and the whole tone of said announcements seems to be "Pretty please, we would like to be the next big franchise after Harry Potter and Twilight." Also, the books sound kinda fucked up in a Battle Royale meets Handmaid's Tale way so I'm perversely impressed it IS being turned into a megafranchise.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

gimme the lootpack (Lamp), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

I was considering reading these bcz a friend (who is getting a grad degree in YA lit) told me they were awesome + written in the present tense (this was the part that interested me). I am sure they are fine and all but I can't help but be wary of book series that have had Hot Topic merchandising! God bless YAs and all but I'm not so Y an A anymore (which, why am I in Hot Topic?).

I just hope Jeff's music got people into William F. Buckley (Abbbottt), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

I would definitely be interested in this though if the main characters in the movie were owls.

I just hope Jeff's music got people into William F. Buckley (Abbbottt), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

Apparently her other big series had huge star-nosed moles!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

My gf read and liked these. Tho she's a children's librarian so has some incentive to keep up on YA stuff. But she says they're well done for what they do.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

ugh, these books are so good. I am re-reading them during my subway commute and I sometimes have to pretend that my eyes are tearing up due to allergies because I forgot how dark and bleak some parts of the book are.

Yerac, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

My wife loved the books. And she's no fan of YA.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 03:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

Same with my fiancee. A coworker let her borrow the first two for when she went on a business trip, and she got so sucked in that she bought the third one in the airport.

I kinda want to read them, too.

The big casting controversy is that they picked Jennifer "Winter's Bone" Lawrence to star ahead of Hailee "True Grit" Steinfeld, who's closer to the main character in age and physical appearance. Suzanne Collins has had to assure fans that it's OK.

jaymc, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 03:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

Apparently her other big series had huge star-nosed moles!

I thought this must be what "City of Ember" (the movie) was based on, since the film is also a YA thing in an underground city with a giant star-nosed mole and came out the year after the last book, but apparently it's completely unrelated! And apparently "The City of Ember" (the book) didn't have a star-nosed mole in, either.

Have not read the Hunger Games books but apparently a coworker's kid has been voraciously reading them, demanding multiple library trips per week to get the next one out, etc.

russ conway's game of life (a passing spacecadet), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 10:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost Yeah, pretty sure the lead character is supposed to be a olive skinned, dark haired, etc. teen, so of course heads were scratched (or not) when they cast a blonde, blue-eyed twentysomething. The dudes they cast, btw, looked distractingly hunky to me, in the soap opera sense. But whatevs. I've got no dog in this fight, though I do like Gary Ross.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 11:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

100 pages into this and so far it's reminding me of michael swanwick's 'iron dragon's daughter.' very pleasantly surprised at how blatantly class conscious this is

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 01:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

i hate these books almost as bad as the rick riordan ones

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 01:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

Is there any point in reading this if you've already read Battle Royale?

grey tambourine (wk), Monday, 11 July 2011 01:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

there's no point in reading it if you haven't

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 01:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

haha wait, you mean "just don't read it", right? not "you have to read BR first"

grey tambourine (wk), Monday, 11 July 2011 01:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

only riordan book i read replaces hogwarts with lucian's olympus. tone's a little different so far in 'the hunger games,' more pg-13 gene wolfe or michael swanwick

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 13:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

just started Mockingjay, haven't read anything so gripping and fun in a while. lots of gore for a YA book (or maybe they're all sex&violence these days, i dunno), be interesting to see how they handle it in the movies. the dumb names are starting to get to me though (Peeta, Cinna, Beetee blargh)

herbal bert (herb albert), Monday, 11 July 2011 13:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

^ for a YA series, I read the first two over the past week

herbal bert (herb albert), Monday, 11 July 2011 13:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

my objection is that these books are just ... easy fiction, kind of pandering 'boy stuff' w/ lots of graphic violence that milks video games and episodic TV for ideas and is otherwise woefully ignorant of the larger literary tradition or canon. it is written in present tense and basically free of any device or craft beyond basic storytelling aptitude. it perpetuates the same limerence-drenched soap-opera shit that's saturated YA for the past half-decade, and does a lot of the ham-fisted world-building that passes for 'imaginative' and refuses to allow the reader to experience wonder, confusion, or ambiguity. i like gore and gruesomeness in YA - it's such an overly mannered genre - but I think a lot of other authors have recently done better jobs conveying it, like Rick Yancey in his Will Henry series – 'The Monstrumologist' & 'Curse of the Wendigo'

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 13:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

never heard hunger games dismissed as 'boy stuff' before

Ayatollah Colm Meaney (Princess TamTam), Monday, 11 July 2011 14:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

i'm not dismissing them out of hand – i read all three of them. in my classroom, however, it's 99.9% of the time the boys who grab for the books before the girls.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 14:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

well i avoided twilight so i might give these a go i guess

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 14:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

doesnt it have a huge female following because of, y'know, the strong and independent young female protag? theres a considerable number of feminist readings out there that seem to find value in it & i feel like its worth embracing just for that (NB. i havent read these but i hear in the later books she becomes more marginalized while the men assume a larger role, which is a shame if so)

Ayatollah Colm Meaney (Princess TamTam), Monday, 11 July 2011 14:38 (3 years ago) Permalink

in the year 2011, YA literature shelves are filled with strong and independent female protagonists – and this, i don't think is one of the better examples. the predominance of feminist readings are, to my mind, occasioned by the popularity of the books and not their quality.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

so this appears to be an interesting set of books, being adapted into films by a decent filmmaker with a strong cast. as far as megafranchises go, we could do worse.

THIS IS SATIRE BTW (Simon H.), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

i'm the first guy i know who's reading it. lots of ladies i know have though. so far the girl from 'true grit' would make a way better katniss than the girl who played mystique in the last x-men. that's who they cast, right?

remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels? i just want them to invoke the spirits of the greats, like mervyn peake and joy chant. so far, so good

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels? i just want them to invoke the spirits of the greats, like mervyn peake and joy chant. so far, so good

absolutely, and i often find it. YA isn't the 'junk' genre it (largely) was 20 year ago. laurel wil back me up on this, i think, but there are a number of incredibly talented, capable, and innovative writers working in the field b/c its lack of pretension, willingness to bend genre and story conventions, and relative ease of getting published make it a good place to try out new ideas.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

the girl who played mystique in the last x-men. that's who they cast, right?

Yeah, but I prefer to think of her as the girl from Winter's Bone, which makes her seem more promising, tbh.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

well i avoided twilight so i might give these a go i guess

― thomp

Those two things need to be decoupled: Everyone should avoid Twilight no matter what you plan to do later in the day/month/year/life.

xp remy is right! Don't lower your standards for young peoples' sakes, they don't need it!

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

i don't consider young adult fiction junk or i wouldn't be reading it. but have you ever read harold bloom's young adult fantasy novel, 'a flight to lucifer'? yuck

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels?

Also this is a patronizing and makes you sound like a jerk. Don't do that.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't see how a lifelong reader/critic not turning out to be a great YA author in the genre of fantasy is proof of anything, btw. False dichotomy, or at least an extremely lazy one.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

the girl who played mystique in the last x-men. that's who they cast, right?

Yeah, but I prefer to think of her as the girl from Winter's Bone, which makes her seem more promising, tbh.

Yeah she really has nothing to prove in the confident-lead department.

THIS IS SATIRE BTW (Simon H.), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

like harry potter, i think these stories may succeed better as movies than books: there's very little in the story besides a kind of reportorial narrative.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

laurel do you like hunger games

Ayatollah Colm Meaney (Princess TamTam), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:38 (3 years ago) Permalink

laurel & r.bean recommend two or three good YA novels i should read for contrast to 'hunger games', if i read 'hunger games'

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

Haven't read 'em. Storyline seemed a little too pat, and then they got the commercial success to match so I just didn't make the effort. remy is saving me from having to try again.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

Remy already did!

Rick Yancey in his Will Henry series – 'The Monstrumologist' & 'Curse of the Wendigo'

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

@thomp, for the sci-fi/horror/gore/monster angle i'd recommend rick yancey's 'the monstrumologist.' it isn't really my cup of tea, but i think it is a well-written book and a good read for a certain type of kid. it introduces a lot of great elements, and ties well w/ frankenstein, lovecraft, etc.,

for total contrast w/in the genre i recommend peter cameron's 'someday this pain will be useful to you' for great, deceptively simple, characterization.

i've recently enjoyed green & levithan's 'will grayson, will grayson' and paolo bacigalupi's 'ship-breaker'

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

halfway through ellen klages 'the green glass sea' if historical fiction is your thing

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yay, Ship Breaker!!

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

so good, right?

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

thanking u

just out of curiosity, how would you rate the possibly-not-as-ubiquitous-as-i-think-they-are franchises:

i. artemis fowl
ii. diary of a wimpy kid
iii. skulduggery pleasant

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

Sorry, actually quite busy so reduced to being cheering section. Also in terms of new stuff, I get most of my reading from work these days and our YA is extremely "commercial" so apart from SB'er and some others, most of it isn't what you're asking for.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

you attacked me for reading 'the hunger games.' then you call me a jerk? sorry if i offended you somehow

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

(my vested interest here is that my nephew is being put off reading by being deluged with brightly coloured FOR THE KIDS type books that people get him which largely appear to be .. kind of awful, and it is a lot harder to go into the bookstore and buy YA books than it was to buy picture books)

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

there's a general-purpose YA thread somewhere, isn't there? maybe i should revive that one

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

you attacked me for reading 'the hunger games.'

You can keep thinking that's what I was "attacking" you for, or you can re-consider about how dismissive you were about the literary "merit" of books for kids/young people.

thomp, honestly I haven't read any of any of those three. They give me the lip-curl when I see them around...hadn't realized Skullduggery Pleasant had become a thing?

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

There is an excellent YA sf/f thread somewhere but it's probably like 700 posts.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

btw tho this is my 2nd viewing

Murder in the Rue McClanahan (jaymc), Sunday, 30 June 2013 04:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

hunger games is like the cure, you know. Like "subsersive" stuff for normals.

Murder in the Rue McClanahan (jaymc), Sunday, 30 June 2013 04:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

Uniforms in the arena are like 2004 u.s. badminton team uniforms.

Murder in the Rue McClanahan (jaymc), Sunday, 30 June 2013 04:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

girl power

Murder in the Rue McClanahan (jaymc), Sunday, 30 June 2013 04:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

I saw this about two months ago at home with my wife on DVD. It was ok. The story was tethered to the book, so it had more exposition than the movie actually needed and (I don't doubt) far less than the book contained. The costumes, sets and effects looked good enough that you knew what they were aiming at. The acting was nothing special, but the lead who played katniss carried her part well enough on the whole and she was the only person who really mattered. Of course the veteran actors were much better in their small roles.

It struck me as a decently workmanlike adaptation of a very long book written for a YA audience. I'm sure that audience lapped it up. Good for them. Just ok for me.

Aimless, Sunday, 30 June 2013 04:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Just finished books two and three in short succession. It might be just exhaustion from doing too much at once, but boy did these fall off. Book one had lots of problems but it was relatively tight, and the central questions/conflicts for the main character locked in with the themes of the book and basically it made sense.

Books two and three, besides being just a brutal exercise in thinking up every sadistic thing you could do to the cast (and blaming it on the villains) are repetitious, flabby and unfocused - episodic rambles punctuated by unearned deaths, indistinguishable convalescence scenes, and a thousand sleepless nights. On one level I get some of this: our protagonist is a subaltern trauma victim many times over and I'm glad that's not prettified out of the picture; as well, I think she (mostly) manages to make the violence totally unglamorous and horrifying, and keep up the attack on the world that finds it entertaining (in the first book) and a necessary evil (in the last). Even the endlessly fretted-over romance story has all kinds of good ideas going in - I imagine the line between liking someone and performing that affection resonates like crazy for the teen audience. But things are just so unimaginative. She has more or less 1-2 ideas per character, all based on how they relate to Katniss and nothing more, and they almost never surprise you. It's all about plot, then, but the plot is stuck on replay for so much of the series. There are huge chunks of the second book I can't remember and I read the entire thing yesterday.

Also suffers intensely from the Harry Potter problem where our protagonist grows nowhere and learns nothing, or maybe learns the same lesson repeatedly to no avail. This is a real problem for a series whose climax hinges on a big, ambiguous moral choice (the outcome of which being btw covered up by both characters and author); the reasoning behind it is fuzzy and can as easily be chalked up to the same kind of emotionally-driven impulse with which she starts the series. It's telling that the other characters can interpret it as insanity, and that so many times the narration has to insist how much has changed since page one of book one, because you might otherwise not realize it. Versus something like the end of Nausicaa (with a similar choice made), it's all very hollow. And I agree about how undeveloped the world feels - very detailed in certain ways and bafflingly vague in others.

It's annoying, because the outline/major themes really SHOULD be in a smash kids' book series. Like, this is basically Society of the Spectacle crossed with The Culture Industry, set in the Tripod trilogy by John Christopher, and specifically trying to make a point about reality TV and pro sports and what they might say about us. Okay, sure. But they could be better books along the way.

I did like a few things - the political intrigues, some of the monsters/etc., and everything we learn about the past winners (which is coincidentally some of the most useful world-building, maybe because it's Katniss finding things out rather than her laying them out for us, and there remain unanswered questions).

The ending is bugging me more and more even as I'm typing this. Ugh!

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

Also something very ''Star Wars prequels'' about a lot of the characters from later on...sketchily introduced and they show up constantly in conferences/battles but all they do is talk and die. If they have physical traits or individual personalities or speech patterns or ways of moving around a room, the book doesn't let it show. They just talk and die, talk and die, in shot-reverse-shot.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

I saw this Catching Fire film and I can safely say beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was the worst most incredibly dull film I have ever seen.

bets wishes (jel --), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

you are nuts.

Lesbian has fucking riffs for days (Neanderthal), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

like ok if you didn't like it but if you think this is the 'worst most dull thing' ever I got a stack of DVDs for you.

Lesbian has fucking riffs for days (Neanderthal), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

Well, I may have been going for dramatic effect...

bets wishes (jel --), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

Walter Chaw/my thoughts exactly:

It'll make the money it will make, earn no new converts to the flock, and be the type of movie you hope no one ever brings up in polite company because you don't want to look like an asshole.

a fifth of misty beethoven (cryptosicko), Sunday, 24 November 2013 17:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

I loved it. But I also loved the first film.

Murgatroid, Sunday, 24 November 2013 17:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

if it was worse than the first one "worst most incredibly dull film" seems entirely possible bring on yr stack of dvds bro

resulting post (rogermexico.), Monday, 25 November 2013 03:14 (1 year ago) Permalink

The first one felt like it was five hours long. Not bad so much as interminable.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Monday, 25 November 2013 03:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

Some movies should be labeled clearly "This movie is for someone else, but not for YOU!" I'm pretty sure that those who found the movie insufferable are just not in the intended audience demographic. I don't plan to see it any time soon for just this reason.

Aimless, Monday, 25 November 2013 05:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

See also: the Twilight film series.

Aimless, Monday, 25 November 2013 05:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

I already saw The Running Man and Rollerball and Battle Royale, I think I'll sit this whole thing out out.

Viceroy, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:06 (1 year ago) Permalink

So weird how it's always art geared towards women, children, etc. that people (I won't say that I know you well enough to say that people doing this are always men, like the poster above me) feel they should announce that they're not partaking in. I'm not saying it's a strict rule, there's definitely stuff geared towards straight white men that people do this to as well, but it's mostly stuff like Hunger Games, Twilight, Taylor Swift, pop music in general, etc. that dudes are like, I'M GONNA SIT THIS ONE OUT AND LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW.

Murgatroid, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

buzza, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

Murgatroid OTM

This was pretty good

goth drama is universal (latebloomer), Monday, 25 November 2013 06:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

First one was pretty entertaining too.

goth drama is universal (latebloomer), Monday, 25 November 2013 06:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

Seriously, I'll take the vaguely left-leaning dystopian scifi action over boarding school wizards any day

goth drama is universal (latebloomer), Monday, 25 November 2013 06:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

I honestly don't get why people are saying how Catching Fire is a MASSIVE improvement over the first movie. I mean, it IS an improvement, but the improvements are subtle (more moments of levity, the cast seems generally more into it this time, etc.) so the improvements don't make it that much better.

Murgatroid, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

Artforum:

"What are The Hunger Games books, and now movies, really about? Exactly what it looks like: war. ...

Two things are certain in America: War and sequels."

http://www.artforum.com/film/id=44211

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 1 December 2013 18:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

i went with mr veg to see this today -- haven't read the books...i was kinda bored through most of this. dug PSH but mostly just because he was just being PSH without a mohawk ponytail or a tophat or stupid circus clothes

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 30 December 2013 02:27 (11 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

It's a good thing we have important satirical works like The Hunger Games to remind us of the horrors of a possible future where human life and death become irrelevant to the needs of narrative in a palliatory mass-media spectacle.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 9 March 2014 15:40 (9 months ago) Permalink

that's not what hunger games is about at all!

balls, Sunday, 9 March 2014 16:12 (9 months ago) Permalink

i love the voice of cinema blend

mustread guy (schlump), Sunday, 9 March 2014 16:17 (9 months ago) Permalink

it's in there! xpost

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 9 March 2014 16:45 (9 months ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

so I got into a semi-argument the other night about this. I haven't read the books because I am not a 13yo girl; watched the first movie at the urging of my wife and a friend of ours. Friend was over on the weekend and we got to talking about it - basically I find the whole fascist police state conceit reactionary and that ruined everything else about it for me (the Minotaur myth parallels, the Jon Armstrong-style pop/fashion oppression parodic bits etc.) My problem with it is that if you're going to go the sci-fi dystopian route than your dystopia is only as effective as far as it mirrors actual current conditions/threats/fears. But the whole fascist police state thing is out-of-date - fascist police states aren't a threat in America, and the only people who think so are Tea Party reactionary idiots who think Obamacare's gonna take away their guns and give them to illegal immigrants etc. So why contruct a dystopia where an authoritarian state is the boogeyman? The current threats to our society are more explicitly capitalist in nature. Oligarchy, destruction of the ecosystem, corporate surveillance - the state is primarily a tangential player/enabler in these threats, it's not the driving force at all. So placing the state at the center of it and then building this silly pop culture scaffolding around it to support it doesn't really speak to any kind of fear I have, if anything it seems like misdirection by a right wing crank, which makes me suspicious of the whole enterprise.

I get that this doesn't even register w most people, who just want to see girl kick ass ooh look silly meta-media commentary and oh which guy will she end up with but it irritates me to have this reactionary crap out there in the broader culture. It seems like a misuse of the dystopian trope.

Οὖτις, Monday, 16 June 2014 20:33 (6 months ago) Permalink

and then there's the Battle Royale thing, a book/movie that I preferred and seemed to be more relevant and w a more interesting angle

Οὖτις, Monday, 16 June 2014 20:34 (6 months ago) Permalink

But... the angle of Battle Royale was also the reinforcement of the power of a fascist police state so I'm not sure how it's more relevant? (Better executed absolutely, but the Hunger Games story does twist in upon itself in some very interesting ways by the end of the third book.)

Star Gentle Uterus (DJP), Monday, 16 June 2014 20:37 (6 months ago) Permalink

Battle Royale was way more entertaining - but as I remember the backstory is never really explained very well. Hunger Games is supposed to be a spectacle at least, but Battle Royale was done in secret, wasn't it? The kids seemed to have no idea about it.

Brio2, Monday, 16 June 2014 20:46 (6 months ago) Permalink

found the evil government painfully relevant tbh in the first 2 movies. it's much more about the way power reinforces itself and how it operates from the individual outwards than it is about critiquing a particular formation of government.

the parallels to Battle Royale aren't that close either. the gov in BR is much more frightened of/repulsed by its teenage victims. HG's gov's relationship with youth is more celebratory, and it sacrifices them to get at their families, not because it fears youth itself.

Naamloze vennootschap (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 June 2014 20:47 (6 months ago) Permalink

Battle Royale also takes place on the Korean peninsula iirc

xp

Οὖτις, Monday, 16 June 2014 20:48 (6 months ago) Permalink

BR - the first one, anyway - at its heart is a neat inversion of the sentiment behind Lord of the Flies

HG seems more about how a hypermediated environment eats up youth to serve adult ends

Naamloze vennootschap (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 June 2014 20:51 (6 months ago) Permalink

The Battle Royale precedent is really not that bothersome to me tbh - I will say that given China and North Korea and the uniquely weird conservative bent of Japan's gov't and their history as an actual fascist state, the Asian fascist police state dystopia seems more resonant/relevant.

But Hunger Games takes place in America. and it's an America that is by and large completely unrecognizable to me, apart from the ludicrous gameshow window dressing.

xp

Οὖτις, Monday, 16 June 2014 20:54 (6 months ago) Permalink

i don't think the gameshow is window dressing, seeing as it gives the series its title and the plot revolves around it - hence also the Roman names - the whole thing is about bread and circuses

Naamloze vennootschap (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 June 2014 20:56 (6 months ago) Permalink

An unpopular opinion, I know, but I really hate Battle Royale. If it's a satire, what exactly is being satirized? If the adults are the villains, why introduce some evil kids if not solely for the purpose of a big Lethal Weapon-style showdown? That Hunger Games essentially looks like a watered down copy of something I already disliked is the main reason why I've stayed away from that whole thing.

Funk autocorrect (cryptosicko), Monday, 16 June 2014 20:59 (6 months ago) Permalink

kids in battle royale aren't aware they've been chosen until they're there (w/ a few exceptions). there is awareness in the media, you have the media swarming around a 'winner' at the beginning but it's not a tv show like the hunger games iirc. the program there is some sort of deliberate anti-youth thing, obv echoes of columbine w/ it but the paranoia it's tapping seems more similar to the early 90s fear of 'superpredators'. battle royale 2 probably closer thematically to hunger games w/ it's war on terror metaphor. hunger games pretty openly and somewhat on the nose response to iraq war, poor youth being sent to their deaths in a spectacle for the benefit of the rich. the fascist state is anti-bush crit though my understanding is the politics of the books are more nuanced and cynical than that (my understanding is the rebels are revealed to be fairly worthless as well, meet the new boss same as the old boss).

balls, Monday, 16 June 2014 21:01 (6 months ago) Permalink

xp

as i say BR is quite specifically Lord of the Flies reversed, and thus satirizes and not wholly unpopular opinion amongst a section of adults: kids are naturally wild beasts. BR turns that on its head by having an adult world that goes to elaborate lengths to transform its kids into wild beasts, simply to exorcize that underlying fear. not so much satire as documentary.

Naamloze vennootschap (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 June 2014 21:02 (6 months ago) Permalink

Hunger Games is obviously a mashup of a lot of tropes and clichés, but at heart it wants to be a epic of The Hero. The Evil Government trope is just there to give the Hero a nemesis, to throw obstacles at her and her fellow heros, and to be an evil counterpart to all that is Good and Clean and Loving and Human. Οὖτις has every right to find the HG a particularly unthinking and reactionary misuse of the trope of Evil Government, but the number of 13 year old girls who are into the politics of HG as opposed to the Hero Quest aspect (with super cool archery feats!) are probably not numerous enough to be worth worrying over.

Aimless, Monday, 16 June 2014 21:28 (6 months ago) Permalink

ah great some ott misogyny

balls, Monday, 16 June 2014 21:58 (6 months ago) Permalink

w/ it's war on terror metaphor. hunger games pretty openly and somewhat on the nose response to iraq war, poor youth being sent to their deaths in a spectacle for the benefit of the rich

idg this. American troops weren't forced to fight each other, they were fed a bunch of fictitious lies about a demonized, external enemy.

Οὖτις, Monday, 16 June 2014 22:24 (6 months ago) Permalink

I don't think that word means quite what you think it means, balls.

Aimless, Monday, 16 June 2014 23:35 (6 months ago) Permalink

I remember reading an interview with the author where she said the inspiration for HG was flipping the channel between Iraq War news reporting and a reality game show like Survivor... So I think it's meant more of a comment on poor kids killing poor kids, TV entertainment, and the rich and powerful using the reality of the poor's struggles as political theatre which they sell back to the poor as heroics... maybe a bit more a mix of ideas than a direct analogue to either Iraq or now.

Brio2, Monday, 16 June 2014 23:38 (6 months ago) Permalink

I don't think that word means quite what you think it means, balls.

― Aimless, Monday, June 16, 2014 7:35 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

nah that's the correct usage

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:24 (6 months ago) Permalink

I just watched this. I kind of liked the set up and all the TV stuff, Truman-show-esque as it was. Ending is basically 'oh the people in charge changed their minds' and not really because she did anything mind-blowing or outwitted them particularly? just 'they probably won't like this because TV' - so a massive anti-climax. And yeah, she never really has to make a morally challenging decision. But I'm also glad there was no 'wake up sheeple!'.

much bigger problem during the action scenes is that when peetah and that vicious psychopath kid were fighting at the end they looked so much alike i couldn't tell who was who (blonde buff young caucasians all look the same to me i guess)

i could tell them apart but this was the only time the shakeycam got annoying for me too, because it was so jerky that you couldn't tell what katniss actually shot such that she'd hit cato without him taking peeta with him.

(i looked it up afterwards, she shoots cato's hand so he's forced to release peeta as he falls backwards.)

― lex pretend, Thursday, 29 March 2012 09:34 (2 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

See this is one of the very few bits of obvious 'strategy' or something: Peter spends ages pointing to that spot on his hand and gesturing!

kinder, Sunday, 29 June 2014 21:15 (5 months ago) Permalink


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