“Hunger Games” craze hits Santa Clara campus
Published: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2012 12:04
Senior Jon Rey and about 30 other Santa Clara students donned homemade T-shirts with sayings like, “May the odds be ever in your favor,” and joined the throng of people congregated outside of AMC Mercado 20 on the night of March 22.
Waiting in line for the midnight premiere of “The Hunger Games,” Rey was surrounded by people with braided hair and golden bird pins, reading the book and anxiously awaiting the start of the show.
“The two people in front of us were dressed up as Katniss and Effie (two characters from the series),” Rey said. “They had full-on costumes and makeup on; it was really cool.”
“The Hunger Games,” the record-breaking film based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian young adult novel of the same name, takes place in a dark, future North America and follows Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, as she participates in a televised death match after volunteering to take her younger sister’s place.
The film and book series have captivated audiences and readers around the world. And here at Santa Clara, “The Hunger Games” craze is bringing people together in creative ways and is being used as a platform to raise awareness about important issues, including world hunger and poverty.
Rey, a community facilitator in the Loyola Residential Learning Community, organized a few events in Sobrato Hall, including a mock “reaping.” Instead of choosing participants for the eponymous games, Rey distributed information about child soldiers and world hunger and chose students to receive free tickets to the midnight showing.
“We had the reaping and even prepared snack ration packs for everyone going,” Rey said. “We tried to replicate the food featured in the books, but the closest thing we got was bread like Peeta made in his bakery and hot chocolate like the tributes got on the train.”
Rey started reading “The Hunger Games” last winter break and was immediately hooked on the popular series. Kelly Lamble, a junior, also started reading the series and shared the first book with all of her friends after she completed it.
“It started out as sharing the book with one of my housemates, but it turned into almost a book club where (my friends and I) were passing the books around to each other, even bringing them to class to trade with people,” said Lamble. “We couldn’t wait for each other to get done so we could talk about them and guess what the movie was going to be like.”
Debuting nationwide on March 23, “The Hunger Games” scored the third best opening of all time with $155 million on its opening weekend, according to The New York Times.
The film maintained its No. 1 spot in U.S. box offices with $61 million during its second weekend and grossed a total of $251 million in 10 days, according to reports in Entertainment Weekly.
Since the book series was so popular, with more than 24 million copies of the trilogy in print in the U.S., according to Scholastic, the trilogy’s publisher, the anticipation and expectations for the movie were high for fans.
An Nguyen, a junior, also attended the midnight premiere and enjoyed the movie but felt there were things that were lacking in the film.
“There were little details and emotions that I felt were lacking in the movie,” said Nguyen. “For a movie called ‘The Hunger Games’ I never got a sense of the hunger, thirst and desperation for survival that was so explicit in the books.”
Despite any misgivings about the film adaptation, students across campus are enthusiastic about the series, and students’ enthusiasm is exactly what the Justice Starts Here initiative is hoping to use to help their cause.
Justice Starts Here, run by the Offices of Housing and Residence Life, hosts events and programs aiming to affirm and celebrate the dignity of all people.
The initiative recently hosted a screening of “Miss Representation,” a documentary exploring images of women in mainstream media, and hopes to use “The Hunger Games” to illuminate other social justice issues.
According to Gayle Catterlin, resident director of the Communitas RLC, the initiative is in the preliminary stages of planning “Hunger Games” events, including providing passive educational information in all the residence halls on poverty and hunger and selling discounted tickets to see the movie.
Luckily for fans of the series, Lionsgate plans to adapt the final two books in the series. “Catching Fire,” the sequel to “The Hunger Games,” is planned to be released in November 2013.
Contact Anna Esquibel at email@example.com or (408) 554-4852.