Monday, July 22, 2013

The Hunger Games: Dystopia as entertainment

I wrote about how dystopia was the next big thing in Twilight over, next up, The Hunger Games!  The hype for this trend continues to build with the release of a new trailer for "Catching Fire" the weekend of San Diego Comic Con.

Reuters covers the hype in an article I included in Overnight News Digest: Fast Fill-in Edition on Daily Kos.

'Hunger Games' ushers in era of dystopian young adult films
By Piya Sinha-Roy
SAN DIEGO | Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:05pm EDT
(Reuters) - Parents of morose teenagers be warned: the next big trend in films for young adults could make the mood at home even darker.

Vampires, werewolves and boy wizards are out; dystopia is in. Having seen the popularity of "The Hunger Games," movie studios are rolling out films that explore darker themes.

Summit Entertainment's "Divergent" and "Ender's Game" and Sony Pictures' "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" are all aimed at the lucrative audience of young adults.

The films were front and center at the Comic-Con convention that wrapped up in San Diego on Sunday in the largest gathering of fans of science fiction, fantasy and video game genres. Studios spend big money there to give that key demographic a glimpse of upcoming films, hoping to whip up the kind of fan hype that can be a powerful marketing tool for Hollywood.
As I wrote last year:
Looks like Hollywood believes that worrying about collapse is good business. I wish segments other than entertainment had that same attitude.
As for the messages the films and the books they're based on promote, here are a selection.
"To have a character who is claiming their identity in a world spinning wildly out of control and to use their means to overcome that world, I think that's a really powerful thing for a teenager to read about," Roth said.
"The issues of the manipulation of young people for their values as soldiers for their special skills ... is something that was really complex and interesting to me," Ford said at the film's presentation at Comic-Con this week.
"It's important for young girls to understand that there are qualities to girls other being just pretty and being told what to do," said Zwart, whose film stars Lily Collins.

"They can take control of their own lives and they need to find their own destiny, and I just wanted my daughter to see that inspiration," he added.
Looks like these works of fiction aren't swimming against the stream on gender equality.  They're sending the message that's one ideal doesn't have to die with collapse.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Sorry, you have to link to something my readers can actually read. Most of them can't read Vietnamese (or Khmer or Lao, either).