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Archive for April 14th, 2012

by Jaime Grijalba.

You know who would loose both the Battle Royale and the Hunger Games? Bob Clark… because he’s sick. And now, like a victorious warrior I’ve taken over his place to talk about the two most discussed films of the past weeks, to give my own pespective and look about these science fiction movies that have taken over the imagination of most of the youngsters and adults that try to see some message about our society in film, a wrong place to look if you want a barren future, you just need to turn on your television and watch a bit of reality shows or most of the gossip tables to see the way we are going: the bottom of the barrel. And while ‘The Hunger Games’ (2012) tries to give a commentary on reality shows and all kind of television shows, the thing just doesn’t seem exploited enough, it doesn’t give commentary on it as much as tries to imitate the style of this shows, trying to go beyond, but failing when we don’t see the counterpart of that: the audience, which is the main thing that keeps these kind of tv going on, but besides some scarce shots towards the end of the film, it doesn’t give you the proper experience of fascination towards the violence, the gossip, the opportunity to know the deepest feelings of a real human being (at least that’s what they’re trying to sell us, and the fakeness of the reality shows do play a part in the ending of the most succesful film of 2012 so far, it doesn’t have any real consecuence), someone that maybe some day we may get to know, or… hell, even someone we do know from our daily life! That’s what reality television does to us, it puts ourselves on the screen, or so it says, and it’s not a good image the one we are looking at right now. And while ‘Battle Royale’ (2000) doesn’t have the same element of reality TV, it feels closer to us and to what young people of today are: they are human people, not just token bad guys or token weak links, they’re not characters from a reality show, they are kids from today, kids with obvious tropes and clichés attached to them, but that morally go beyond the good/bad categories, and they become people with shades of grey, there’s good and bad in each one of us, and sometimes we need both sides, specially if we are in a situation in which they require of us to kill each and everyone of the people we go to school with, of course some would cherish the opportunity, but this distopia, where this kind of things can happen and do happen, I’m guessing that it’s more important an issue when we see this film in the wake of school shootings that predated the film as well as those who continue to happen all over the world, or when we hear about teachers getting revenge on bad students, or students getting revenge on teachers in general, I guess that is most a needy portrait than one of how we see ourselves in the media, as much as I like the concept, I think that this new japanese classic is even more current and important than the other film we’re going to talk about, so that’s why I’m saying it’s the superior film… besides, it’s a lot of more fun. (more…)

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