Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Tasteful Child-Killing"

I have almost no exposure to The Hunger Games, but I found some comments from this review to be insightful about the way blockbuster film-making tends to sanitize certain themes for the sake of mass appeal.  The fact that the theme in this case is child sacrifice makes the point ever more potent.

"The audience at Monday’s packed preview of The Hunger Games came out juiced and happy, ready to spread the good word, while all I could think was,They’ve just seen a movie in which twenty-plus kids are murdered. Why aren’t they devastated? If the filmmakers had done their job with any courage, the audience would have been both juiced and devastated."
"If the movie’s director, Gary Ross, has qualms about kids killing kids he doesn’t share them with the audience. The murders onscreen are quick and, apart from a mean girl stung to death by wasps, clean. The cutting is so fast that you can hardly see what’s happening, which has already won Ross praise for his restraint, his tastefulness. Tasteful child-killing!"
"By taking the sting out of death, he has a made a slaughterfest for the whole family."
"But where is the pervasive, lingering sense of loss? Where is the horror? Maybe the true horror is how easily the movie goes down."
The problem of sanitization is endemic to the economics of film-making, so this outcome should come as no surprise.  I think these words grabbed because of my sneaking suspicion that I'm about to be seeing lots of Facebook updates about how awesome The Hunger Games movie is.

On the other hand, how awesome would it be if the film's tagline in posters and movie trailers was:

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