The museums of New York City are renown all over the world. Tally the number of museums, galleries, exhibits and you’ll find the figure somewhere in the hundreds. We have plenty devoted to art, a couple for New York City, a Museum of the Moving Image, there’s even a Museum of Sex and a Morbid Anatomy Museum. So what’s missing?
Did you say an exhibit dedicated to my favorite beach read of 2012? A gallery exclusively for a young adult trilogy that’s better than Twilight?
Well folks, for just $5 more than the Met’s suggested donation (but $2 less than One World Trade Observatory!) you can can visit the brand new…
The Hunger Games: The Exhibition
The exhibit lies in the heart of Times Square, the neighborhood of NYC which most resembles a post-apocalyptic dystopia. Called “Discovery Times Square” there are always several exhibits going on in the building. Currently an Avengers comic exhibit and Body Worlds:Pulse also share the space.
It’s a bit of a maze to get to the entrance for The Hunger Games and then expect a wait because tickets are timed. Everyone else visiting the building was also visiting NYC, they patiently waited, excited with the building anticipation. Me? I was a perfect New York Cliché, “Why is this taking so long?” “Can we skip this part and just go into exhibit?” “I don’t want to watch a video of Elizabeth Banks tell me what wonderful things are in store, I just want to get on with it!”
Finally we got on with it and the doors to Panem were
slowly dramatically opened.
They have to make a big deal out of everything in this exhibit, because honestly, there is not that much to see. Three movies worth of props and costumes, some trivia that’s surely also on IMDB, and a few interactive elements. These people are masters at crafting a fantasy, making each section feel grand, significant, and well worth $30. Once inside the exhibit, we certainly enjoyed ourselves. It was a diverting entertainment for 60 minutes (there are only 7 rooms, they told us at the beginning it would take about an hour to see everything). Only 50 cents a minute, comparable to the price of calling a phone sex operator!
I went to The Hunger Games: The Exhibition with my friend Charlotte who first introduced me to the books. Alas there is no Hunger Games analogy of my friendship with Miranda as are no best friendships in the series that aren’t rife with sexual tension.
It’s fun to see how huge Gale’s costumes look on an average male mannequin!Contrasting Gale, Peeta’s costume (from Catching Fire the second move) in this display was put on a female mannequin.
Peeta has boobs!
I couldn’t resist trying to high five President Snow, even though anyone who knows the series hates him! I just couldn’t leave him hanging with his hand outstretched!
Then he sent a Peace Keeper after me. It got ugly. I begged him not to punish me and then realized he couldn’t get me from behind glass.
There were certainly more costumes on display than anything else. Some sketches of Judianna Makovsky’s, the costume designer of the franchise, were on display. That was one of the more special, behind the scenes, elements.
I did learn a thing or two, which is always good. The look of the futuristic Capitol was inspired by Nazi Germany, communist Russia, with a pinch of art deco extravagance thrown in as well. Ancient Roman gladiator arenas and the novel 1984 were also frequently mentioned as inspirations for the creation of the world of Panem.
I even learned how to tie a couple different knots in the Hunger Games training area which featured the most interactive parts of the exhibit.
Sat in the interview hot seat with Cesar and his floating iPad head.
There was much less from the 3rd movie, which is visually rather drab and clinical. I was very disappointed they didn’t show the wig Julianne Moore wears as Coin! It’s gotta be a wig, right? I’ll be shocked if their actually dying her hair gray. But these are things that were not answered by the exhibition.
The only real fun part of the displays from the 3rd movie was getting to assemble a “propaganda film” for the revolution. Actually, assembling the whole film was rather tedious. Taking this Mocking Jay photograph that appeared at the end of the film was the real fun part.
There was next to nothing for sneak peaks of the final Hunger Games movie. Not even a viewing of the trailer. That was a big disappointment and a wasted opportunity if you ask me.
Leaving the exhibition, we were bombarded by people trying to get us to take a souvenir photo. The whole thing is just so grossly commercial. I mean, it’s an exhibition about a Hollywood blockbuster movie franchise, I don’t know why I was surprised.
The gift shop alone was an experience in itself. The decadence and wealth on display…it was very Capital-esque if you ask me. For $10 you can by an ordinary bag of candy! But it has the Hunger Games logo, so it’s totally worth it?
Would I recommend The Hunger Games: The Exhibition?
If you have a kid who is obsessed with The Hunger Games and want to make their day, I would recommend this exhibit. If you want to spoil them rotten, I recommend you buy all the crap aggressively sold to you. If you’re a gigantic fan, have a Hunger Games tattoo, and are literally counting down the days until the next movie, I would recommend this exhibit. If you have a disposable income, have already been to every other museum in NYC, and some how find yourself feeling like you have nothing better to do,
get your head examined I might recommend this exhibition. If someone gives you free tickets, I recommend this exhibition.
None of those apply to you? Then I recommend saving your $30. No museum in NYC is (I only say that because no other museum in town charges so much! I think I’ve made it clear how ridiculous this price point is!)
The Hunger Games: The Exhibition is open every day now through January 3rd. Visit their website for more info.