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For Katnissologists (Katnissology?): Hunger Games research

Initial NYT review (2012) — Tested by a Picturesque Dystopia: The Hunger Games,’ Based on the Suzanne Collins Novel:

“It may be that Mr. Ross is too nice a guy for a hard case like Katniss. A brilliant, possibly historic creation — stripped of sentimentality and psychosexual ornamentation, armed with Diana’s bow and a ferocious will — Katniss is a new female warrior …”

2014: Thai Protesters Are Detained After Using ‘Hunger Games’ Salute

2015‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,’ Katniss’s Final Battle

“Intentional or not, their casting ensured that in the movies, just as in the books, Katniss was never going to be upstaged by a love interest. “The Hunger Games” may have shocked readers and viewers with its child-on-child violence, but even more startling and certainly far more pleasurable has been the girl-woman at its center who can lead troops like a reborn Joan of Arc, yet find time to nuzzle the downy lips of her male comrades before returning to battle. Her desire is as fluid as her gender, whether she’s slipping into froufrou, shooting down enemy aircraft, kissing a boy or taking a punch. Unlike a lot of screen heroines, she has never settled into stereotype, which, despite the whole dystopian thing, makes her a lot like the contemporary girls and women watching her.”

“That has helped make Katniss the right heroine for these neo-feminist times, the you-go-and-fight girl who has led the empowerment charge at the box office and in the public imagination, often while slinging a bow and arrow borrowed from Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. It wasn’t long before Katniss was making more like a latter-day Athena, the Greek goddess of war, even as this very human girl-woman was also suggesting a vibrant new take on the American Adam.”

“The films of a nation reflect its mentality in a more direct way than other artistic media.”
— Siegfried Kracauer, “From Caligari to Hitler.” (quoted in the NYT: No Season for Loners: People (and Penguins) Stick Together in Films)

“I’m actually part of this weird wolf pack.”
— Stu Price, “The Hangover Part II.”

After our Hunger Games discussion last week, I looked to see if I could find any scholarly film criticism on our questions and found this:

The Hunger Games is about the first stirrings of revolutionary consciousness, but its relationship to capitalism is less clear than it might initially appear. Does the Capitol double for capital, or is the form of exploitation in The Hunger Games of a cruder type? Although the Capitol looks at first sight like a metropolitan capitalist society, the mode of power at work in Panem is better described as cyber-feudal. 

Market signifiers are, after all, strangely absent from the Capitol. Commodities are ubiquitous, but there are no corporate logos, shops, or brand names in the city. So far as we can see, the state, under the beady gaze of President Snow, seems to own everything. It exerts its power directly, via an authoritarian police force of white-uniformed Peacekeepers which inflicts punishment summarily, and symbolically, through the Hunger Games and other rituals in which the districts are required to demonstrate their subordination. In District 12, meanwhile, there is a black market, but little indication of legitimate commercial activity. We know that Peeta works in his parents’ bakery, but the overwhelming impression of District 12 is of a society bent double by manual labor, in which shopping is by no means a leisure activity. 

Fisher, Mark.”Precarious Dystopias: The Hunger Games, in Time , and Never Let Me Go.” Film Quarterly. 65 (2012): 27-33. [DePaul Library link]