Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We Are The Capitol

So I just saw a commercial for the new Cover Girl line of Hunger Games-inspired cosmetics. You can see the line here.

I appreciate the marketing tie in. I mean, it makes sense. And yet, it underscores precisely why some stories work better as books than as movies. And I love when someone helps me make that point—because I think it's important to remember that while there are advantages to telling a story as a movie, there are specific advantages to telling it as a book, too.

See, when you read The Hunger Games books, you ARE Katniss. It's written in first person, so you're in her head. You are her and she is you. You are suffering and fighting and struggling and surviving.

When you watch The Hunger Games, you are all those complacent people at the Capitol who allow atrocities like the Games to continue simply for you own entertainment (and out of fear but let's not get too into the weeds here, people.)

And when you buy into the accompanying marketing tie-ins, you are one of the worst offenders: thoughtlessly buying into the festivities of the Games for the frivolous fun of dressing up and going to parties and—sure, some children die, but they were going to die eventually, right? Might as well be famous before you go.

Maybe I am reading too much into it, but the whole thing makes me uncomfortable in a creepy, crawly, I-just-saw-a-spider-therefore-there-are-phantom-spiders-all-over-me kind of way. Makes me think the publisher didn't get what Collins was really talking about in her books.

Or worse, and more likely, just didn't care.

And yes, I did think this random thought was worth coming out of blog hibernation to talk about. Now I'm back to my full time work cave. What else have I been up to? Novel revisions, new story idea, Halloween prep, and killing a deer with my car.



  1. I don't like the Capitol marketing one bit. Mainstream US culture is so far removed from the idea of oppression and poverty that it can't see the problem with this campaign. The marketing for Mockingjay needs to be entirely about the revolution to make up for this.

  2. A very good point, and something which made the movie disconcerting to watch although so well made - or perhaps because.

  3. I think bloodspot may have eaten my comment on your about page, which was thanks for your comment on my poem on Terri's blog and my goodness there has to be a shorter way to say this! Also glad you liked the foxes :)

  4. Yes, some of the film's tension is reliant on that self awareness that you as the audience are complicit in the Capitol's plot.

    Oh, I loved both the poem and the foxes!