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Dana Stevens’ “Catching Fire Needs More Kindling” Is Already Ablaze

In response to Dana Stevens’s 1037‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Slate 

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2013/11/the_hunger_games_catching_fire_starring_jennifer_lawrence_reviewed.html

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Dana Stevens’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Needs More Kindling” is not simply a movie review but a fascinating commentary on current movie culture—and this isn’t meant facetiously. Stevens’s take on the zeitgeist’s need for a teen movie heroine torn between two love interests while overcoming evil is spot on.

And the comparisons she draws between The Hunger Games and Twilight books yield interesting, challenging insights.

Stevens’s review lives beyond the sometimes airless, ivory tower world of cinematic criticism. She’s not interested in literary preening or snarky takedowns.

The milieu of her review is that interface between pop art and life, and she is quite adept at teasing out the subtle real world parallels to the premise and action of the film.

Stevens is aided and abetted in her review by her own prepossessing headshot accompanying the text—she’s that cute, brainy French lit grad student who was always so quiet—and especially by the movie still immediately below the headline. A haggard Jennifer Lawrence and two comrades are being escorted by uniformed troopers to something you just know is not good.

The photograph drips with apprehension and our perspective puts us in the crowd watching the spectacle; Stevens, then, is the person beside us who fully comprehends the significance of it all.    

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