Movie: The Hunger Games (2012)

KorbenDallas

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Title: The Hunger Games (2012)

Tagline: May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy

Director: Gary Ross

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Amandla Stenberg, Willow Shields, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Paula Malcomson, Rhoda Griffis, Raiko Bowman, Dwayne Boyd, Anthony Reynolds, Judd Lormand, Nelson Ascencio, Bruce Bundy, Latarsha Rose, Dayo Okeniyi, Leven Rambin, Jack Quaid, Jacqueline Emerson, Ian Nelson, Kalia Prescott, Ethan Jamieson, Mackenzie Lintz, Annie Thurman, Imanol Yepez-Frias, Dakota Hood, Amber Chaney, Karan Kendrick, Phillip Troy Linger, Kimiko Gelman, Kate Kneeland, Steve Coulter, Sharon Conley, Tim Taylor, John William Ross, Julie Ivey, Bill Bennett, Jeremy Bonham, Mary Fox

Release: 2012-03-12

Runtime: 142

Plot: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. The world will be watching.

 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Dystopian genre suddenly turned into one of the most profitable ones.

Any hidden messages in this one, that you can identify?
 

dreamtime

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Not suddenly, it resonated with the post 1990 generation that was thrown into a world with no perspective, no higher purpose, and hedonism and materialism as guiding principles. At the same time conspiracy theories were going mainstream and younger people were realizing this, so the idea of an evil state that enslaves everyone except the main protagonist who continues to fight is a very powerful message, and also some kind of collective psychotherapy, because at least young people can dream about a life were they actually resist, and about actually doing something meaningful.

These novels started to materialize into the mass-consciousness in around 2010, and with the movies in around 2012, and examples include:
The timing with the downfall of the Occupy movement (2012) is interesting and it is possible that the first Hunger Games movie (2012) was part of a psy-op to take the energy of the youth away from actual resistance. Also note that it displaced the Harry Potter film series (2001-2011) as the most important movie series, which was probably written by a professional marketing team: http://mileswmathis.com/potter.pdf

This is not so much about real dystopias, but about a very simple dystopian template that is used as a background setting in a coming-of-age love and defiance story which is basically a reflection of the real struggles of the modern youth. In contrast to the original dystopian novels, the modern ones actually transport the message that it is somehow attractive to take part in such controlled world, which makes sense if the entire purpose of the setting is in providing a symbolic way of coping with being suppressed. The common theme in these stories is the idea of a group of youths being confined to a very narrow and constrictive world, and being forced to act upon it, with death as the only alternative. (either real death or death of the individual personality).

In other words, this kind of fiction serves as a surrogate experience for what ideally would be the real experience of resistance, like for example the post-war generation did with the hippie and environmental movement.

This generation is best described by the 1999 movie Fight Club:

God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact.
We're consumers. We are the byproducts of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
 
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Searching

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Here are a few of the ideas I see in this movie that we have discussed on this forum:

Location:
At first, we think the games are in the "real world". We then see that they are in a flat plane with a dome overhead. Then we realize they are in a simulation.

Genetic Engineering:
Jabberjays, Mockingjays, Tracker-Jackers, etc.

Numbers 12 and 13:
At first, there are 12 districts (12 apostles, 12 zodiac signs). We then learn there are 13 districts (13 colonies, now 13 zodiac signs including Ophiucus).

Divide and Conquer:
The capitol pits the districts against one another. This plan works the same as it does today.
 

dreamtime

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Also note that it displaced the Harry Potter film series (2001-2011) as the most important movie series, which was probably written by a professional marketing team: http://mileswmathis.com/potter.pdf
BTW the best proof that JK Rowling didn't write the books is her twitter account where she is constantly attacking everything that could be considered right-wing and blatantly promoting lelft-wing politics. This is not the account of a woman with the ability to create the Harry Potter universe. No way!

There is nothing else in her head except how evil the right is. Is there even a single other twitter account of any famous writer that is so pathologically focused on politics?
 

in cahoots

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This movie popped up in my head the other day. I have various random notes on what I interpret as a novel take on dystopia:

- The way to win the Hunger Games is a media blitz - winning the appeal of the aristocratic audience can afford participants game-altering benefactors. e.g., Katniss does not by any means "love" Pita, she is mugging for the camera in order to survive. The movies and books strongly revolve around the necessary evil of fabricating celebrity in order to form a narrative attachment to "the people" and influence the conditions of society. Particularly in the third book/movie, Katniss is objectified into a revolutionary starlet, heavily controlled and directed by a coterie of publicists and propagandists, e.g., "Be seen helping these refugees at this time, and not those ones". To her constant frustration, Katniss discovers whatever she does, whatever she is good at - fighting in the games, or fighting the regime - she is serving one elite agenda or other. They have her on both sides. I think Hunger Games is very fluent and aware of the power and influence of propaganda. To the ruling elite and underclass alike, watching the lower classmen creatively and desperately slaughter each other has a profound psychological effect on the stratification of power. You could say a lot about this, honestly - the Games participants are at once glorified, yet only to butter up the perversion of their death/murder; propagandists treading a fine line between empowering the players to brew up hope and fervor in the slave audience, yet intervening in order not to allow the hope to lead to action, etc.

- The result of winning the Hunger Games is a year of rations for your hometown guild (districts are specified according to industry) and a false position among the Elite. A slave among elites is not elite. All the previous winners in the Hunger Games series struggle with PTSD, alcoholism, etc., probably not just from what they endured in the games, but their paradoxical new role as co-oppressors of their own people. Once a slave always a slave. Nothing changes. "Here, have a tuxedo and a lifetime supply of coldcuts, now shut up and smile for the camera". I always found Hunger Games' view of modern Hollywood celebrity very cutting and scathing - aspiring performers figuratively fight to the death to get their starring roles, yet no celebrity ever really *does* anything. Their power and influence is purely figurehead, purely to perpetuate the dream of success and the relatability of the power structure. Also, the Hunger Games are represented by the aristocracy as a brutal, yet exciting, and necessary, fact of society, i.e., it's terrible, best for all of us.

- I don't remember much about this part but it's relevant to SH - there were states prior to the establishment of the urban elite. A war happened, the remainder of which forms the leadership District 13, who organize a coup. I do not remember exactly how the war went, but another aspect of the games and the propaganda is that everyone forget their more naturalistic, self-governing past as part of the conformity. Ironically, the revolutionaries turn out to be even more strictly controlling and hypersocialist than the current system.
 

BStankman

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All the previous winners in the Hunger Games series struggle with PTSD, alcoholism, etc., probably not just from what they endured in the games, but their paradoxical new role as co-oppressors of their own people. Once a slave always a slave.
That is an excellent analysis.

Selling your soul to the beast system does not have to be literal.
It does not seem to matter how many times they put the truth in plain sight,
The masses will continue to worship their false idols.
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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