Films in point: The Hunger Games (Ross, 2012), Battle Royale (Fukasaku, 2000)
Regarding all this buzz about a film where kids kill each other off for the viewing pleasure of some capitalists, any of you guys remember such a Japanese film called "Battle Royale"?
I haven't seen these two films but I found the success of "The Hunger Games" as good news. It's quite a surprise teenagers are buying the politically-rich context of "The Hunger Games". It's about classes battling it out, and it's quite feminist as well. Flashback 12 years ago and there's "Battle Royale". The film took everything "Hunger" bears to the extremes even before everything about the latter was outed. It's about a battle of classes in a private high school where the children must kill each other under the order of their teacher and the authoritarian government. If not, the teacher himself will have to kill them. I must say, the violence here is unbearable. You can almost feel every hit and bleeding because it's that graphic of a film. The Japanese, they totally know how to conceive horror!
"Battle Royale" gave a rough, exaggerated view of the new millennium's dangerous fascination. "The Hunger Games" may as well be the mainstreamed "Battle Royale". It's graphic but it is conceived within the microscope of Hollywood meaning it's a softer, toned-down reflection of society. I just hope that this new pop culture phenomenon won't end up as just another money-making franchise, but one that would enlighten the thousands of die-hard fans about the condition of their own environment, of their own media fetishes.
With that, "The Hunger Games" surely is worth a watch.