The Hunger Games
Those who know me well might be surprised to learn that I watched this movie. I have not read the book by author Suzanne Collins because of my philosophical opposition to the plot. The book is about teens killing teens in a twisted futuristic community game not unlike the old short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. I refuse to endorse a story where teens are forced to kill each other to survive. So, I'm not endorsing this movie, nor am I recommending it or the book.
Why did I watch the movie? Good question. I felt I had an obligation to my students to be familiar with it because so many of them have read the book and the sequels and have seen the movies as well (now 3 of them in the series). I have not yet decided if I will invest any more time watching the sequel movies Catching Fire or Mockingjay.
However, for those who have seen the movie, I just wanted to make some observations. The only truly futuristic element of the story is the technology used for communication. Most of the rest of the story harkens back to old times. The lower-class people in the movie who live out in the provinces dress and live in places that look much like pictures we see of 1930 Depression-Era America. Upper-class people who live in a city much like Oz (albeit without all the green or a yellow brick road), live in a 1930's Art Deco world. Even the super fast bullet-train that the characters ride in is all Art Deco in design. Also, the clothing and hairstyles of some of the elite, ruling class pay homage to The Wizard of Oz. I find this design element fascinating. I don't know if it was intentional, but it seems so obvious that it must be?
The story itself also bears some resemblance in structure to a short story called "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell, which is much anthologized for freshmen. In this story, one man hunts another in a jungle setting, and uses many of the same techniques that main character Katniss employs as she is being hunted.
So, that's all I have to say about The Hunger Games. Feel free to let me know if you agree or not.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to feed the fish!