The Hunger Games came out this week and I just so happened to watch the blu-ray of a Serbian Film just a day before I saw Katniss and Peeta battle for their survival. I’m not here to really review either film per say, but recognize the overlapping themes the two share, and compare their similarities. While the movies are very different in motive and the audience they seek and couldn’t be further away from each other on the scale of sex and violence they actually show on screen, both do show the influence of reality television, the post traumatic effects of war, desensitized society toward violent imagery, and the benefits of knowing how to weld a weapon to kill your enemy, weather it be a sword, bow and arrow, or a hugely erect penis that you shove through a mans eye socket.
Spoiler Alert (if you don’t want to know what happens in these films, stop reading now):
Both films start off with people living their lives but neither particularly satisfied with it. Katniss, the lead from The Hunger Games, is from a poor sector of the world, older sister and a daughter, is a good tracker and hunter as well as great with a bow and arrow. Miloš, the lead from A Serbian Film, is disaffected, leading a now-normal life semi-retired from the porn industry to raise his young son with his wife, he was skilled at harpooning snatch with his massive dork. Both characters are from war torn regions. Katniss from Panem, a nation formally known as North America and Miloš from Serbia, subject to the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Katniss and Miloš, in their respective films, elect themselves to participate in a mysterious event that could possibly benefit their families.
The grooming and wooing begins as Effie Trinket, Haymitch Abernathy (a former Games contestant), and Cinna do their best to motivate Katniss to participate in the Hunger Games by doing things their way. Miloš is persuaded by Lejla (a former porn co-star) and Vukmir to participate in their mysteriously funded experimental porn film. The training sequences begin where Katniss practices her weapons and survival skills, Miloš gives up drinking, starts running and gets his mojo back. The character’s respective camps are both in awe and impressed how they handle their weapons of choice. Katniss has uncanny aim with her bow, Miloš can maintain a raging hard-on in any situation.
Once the characters don their cool jackets, Katniss and Miloš are immediately put into awkward situations and having every moment of their lives filmed from multiple camera angles. No matter where they turn there is another camera capturing their actions to witness the spectacle of their performance. Then the characters show that they have active conscious about bringing harm to young girls, (Rue and Jeca, respectively). Then both of the affecting little girls, have over emotional parents, where Rue’s Father starts a district wide riot in Sector 11, Jeca’s mother bellows on about dishonoring her father and becoming a whore, then proceeds to give a mascara-runny, throat-gaggy angry BJ.
The rest will get all montage-y on you. Katniss uses hybrid bees as an escape from her captivity, Miloš uses a syringe filled with a rage-sex cocktail. Both get stuck with said devices with prickly ends and pass out for an extended period. After being worried that they might lose or have lost someone they care about they go into survival mode. Katniss uses her cleverness and skills while Miloš rages and f^cks things till they die. Katniss has a boy friend back home (Gale), who pines after her. Miloš has a brother (Matko), who lust after his wife. Both program directors desire to see more ‘titillating’ activity from their subjects and prod them to such. Katniss manages to become the victor of the Games (ok, co-victor, but we all know she was clearly the best), after all the other competitors were killed, Miloš was the last man standing (erect) at the end of this bloodbath. Katniss had to fend of dogs while Miloš did it doggy style. And in the end, the auteur behind the camera got it. The Directors got their just deserts for their rolls in the reality shows. Katniss and Miloš both went home, changed by their experiences never to be the same again.
All we know is that the show must go on. There is always a mysterious guy ‘behind the curtain’ pulling the strings and keeping the cameras rolling cause there will always be an audience with a thirst for romance, action, blood, or good old-fashioned shock torture porn.