Finish the year off on a good note with a “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

Published 12:06 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

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This week at Tryon Theatre we have the newest film in the massively successful “Hunger Games” series, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”This new chapter in the story is a prequel, taking the viewer back to the early days of the games, where key figures and policies of the earlier films are formed in the forge of this newly founded game of life and death. 

For those unfamiliar with the franchise of “The Hunger Games”, the title hails from a morbid spectacle of chance, wits and violence, wherein teenagers compete for a chance at glory, and to elevate themselves out of the struggle into which they were born. The land of this story, Panem, is divided into various districts, a dystopian re-imagining of our own United States, with each region functioning as a real world analogue. This land once faced a period of great famine, out of which these “Games” were born, a way of providing entertainment to the masses, and providing an element of chance to the division of resources that the game’s victory determines. 

The original series of films follows a young woman named Katniss who is thrust into this deadly world of competition. During this time a powerful figurehead, President Snow, rules over Panem, as an enigmatic and dangerous leader, unilateral in his authority and will. This new film steps back, to the 10th year of the games, when Coriolanus Snow, the man who would be “king,” is not yet burdened with his great power. 

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Young Snow hails from privilege in the capital, a rare benefit in their dystopian world, and in accordance with his station, has been set to mentor a young competitor in the games, Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy is from the same district as the later hero Katniss would be, Panem’s Appalachian equivalent, the poverty stricken District 12. Similar to her compatriot of decades later, Lucy is naive to the more complex world of scheming machinations that underwrite the “Games.” However, Lucy’s grit, determination, and optimistic fortitude hold far greater value than she could ever imagine. 

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, similar to its predecessors, will provide a thrilling escape from reality with a fun and fantastical story of good and evil, of triumph over adversity through altruistic efforts. The dystopian setting provides for richly imagined sets, costumes, and character performances, weaving an entertaining tapestry of cinematic escapism. 

On the note of the holiday season, our programming schedule for “The Hunger Games” is somewhat shortened from the usual six showtimes. In order to let our staff celebrate the holiday with full festivities, we will be closed New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31st. Typically we would have a matinee on Sunday afternoons. So with that in mind, “The Hunger Games” will play at 7 pm on Wednesday (12/27), 2:30 pm and 7 pm on Thursday (12/28), 7 pm on Friday (12/29), and 7 pm on Saturday (12/30). Both of Thursday’s showtimes are shown with subtitles on the screen. Thank you for your understanding!