The Hunger Games

Looking For Art’s Response to “The Challenge of Our Times”? You’ll Find It in Mainstream Pop Culture

“We are in the midst of hard times now, and it feels as if art is failing us,” writes New York Times film and cultural critic A.O. Scott in a piece titled, “Is Our Art Equal to the Challenges of Our Times?” His essay, bemoaning a lack of contemporary Great Social Art, laments the absence of Dickenses and Steinbecks, the Zolas and Arthur Millers of yesteryear, even as it introduces a roundtable about art and current affairs featuring artists as diverse as J. Cole, Patricia Lockwood, David Simon, and Ken Burns. … Read More

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What ‘Mockingjay–Part 1′ Misses by Glossing Over Katniss’ Trauma

Throughout much of Mockingjay, the third novel in the Hunger Games series, the unraveling of Katniss Everdeen’s mind takes over the page. Even from the beginning, she strokes a pearl that Peeta found in the arena in Catching Fire and often repeats variations of her mantra: “My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in The Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is thought to be dead. Most likely is dead. It is probably best if he is dead.” Later in the book, she plays a game with the recovered but mentally unstable Peeta, “real or not real?,” as his mind comes back from the brink. … Read More

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‘Mockingjay—Part 1′: The Somber ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the ‘Hunger Games’ Films

The most noteworthy divergence between Mockingjay—Part 1 and its predecessors in the Hunger Games series is the somberness of its tone. It’s not that the first two pictures were exactly laugh riots — they are, after all, chronicles of bloodthirsty oligarchs demanding children murder each other for their amusement. But the (now-de rigueur) splitting of the final book of the YA franchise into two films means that this half is, by necessity, less about big action bits and more about mood, more setup than payoff. And it features some of the grimmest imagery of the series to date. It may be the franchise’s third movie, but it plays like its Empire Strikes Back. … Read More

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Progressive, Tea Party, or Anarchist: Whose Side Is Katniss Really On?

Since I began turning its pages, I assumed The Hunger Games was a rallying cry for like-minded progressives and radicals. This was thanks to its pretty upfront indictment of state-inflicted violence and, in particular, of hunger caused by gross economic inequality. Occupy Panem! I thought. Redistribute the wealth! … Read More

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From ‘Mockingjay’ to Narnia: Fantasy Series Conclusions, Ranked

In preparation for Mockingjay-mania, here’s a look back at seven popular fantasy and trilogy series and an evaluation of their endings, from “perfect” to “meh” to “garbage.” Doubtless, you won’t agree on all of these (or any of them, maybe) but I think we can all come together and acknowledge that it is an incredibly difficult feat of world-building, writing, and pacing to wrap up an entire series in a satisfying way, paying tribute to the moral stakes, the characters, and our desire for a happy ending at the same time. … Read More

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Another Day, Another ‘Mockingjay’ Song, This Time from Lorde, Q-Tip, Stromae, Pusha T, and HAIM

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 marketing assault has been impressive, especially given the fact that the movie is all but… Read More

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Chvrches Debut New ‘Mockingjay’ Track; Ariana Grande, Major Lazer Announce Collaboration for Soundtrack

Lorde’s Mockingjay — Part 1 soundtrack will be released in a mere two weeks, and her team is slowly… Read More

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Lorde Releases “Yellow Flicker Beat” from the ‘Mockingjay’ Soundtrack

Lorde has finally released “Yellow Flicker Beat,” from the Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part 1 soundtrack (the rest of which she curated). The… Read More

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‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1′: Watch the First Full-Length Trailer

Today marks the debut of the first full-length trailer for the third Hunger Games movie. Depicting District 13, a… Read More

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