Author Archives: Kait
We’ve got BONUS guest posts for you this week! Check out another Mockingjay musing from Satsuma, who sees plenty of opportunity of historical parallels in the final two films!
Here I am, trying to make more predictions about the MJ movies. My last post dealt with their possible approach to romance. This one focuses more on the politics. Specifically, whether the movies will continue to make references to historical political events that have parallels to what happens in Panem.I say “continue to”, because both THG and CF seemed to make a directed effort to make viewers consider the parallels, in many subtle ways. Maybe it’s just me, but the “Capitol = Rome” set-up SC created seems to have actually taken a back seat, with more modern examples of tyranny and oppression being focused on more. We have the Capitol set design from THG, inspired by “brutalist” architecture used by the Nazi’s, as well as Tianamen Square; and the use of Henry River Mill village, a real life “company town” (though for a different industry than coal) for the Seam.
And while this isn’t expressly political, I was also quite struck by the Capitol equivalent of a sports book that was showcased in that movie, especially as we see gambling in all forms becoming more and more socially acceptable these days in the US, and states trying to get a cut of the action; not just the state lotteries, but, for example, how Governor Christie of New Jersey recently attempted to legalize sports gambling in his state). And while FYI I admit I never “got” the whole allure of gambling, certainly one can argue that it’s yet another way that the “powers that be” can distract citizens from more serious issues.
In CF, the D11 design actually tweaked aspects of canon, such as showing workers picking cotton instead of fruit as they did in the book, to drive the “D11 = Deep South”, not just geographically but culturally as well, to the extent of giving the Peacekeepers attack dogs that I bet Bull Connor would have loved to own. (Brief history lesson: Connor was a notorious segregationist “Commissioner of Public Safety” in Birmingham, AL, who cracked down harshly on civil rights protestors in the 1960s. I’ve even wondered if Connor’s deceptively benign job title, helped inspire the “Peacekeeper” moniker.)
And not only did CF harken back to the 1960′s, it also showed “rebellion” footage that seemed straight out of the Arab Spring. I’m sure that was no co-incidence.Especially knowing that Danny Strong wrote the first scripts, I’m sure that MJ will continue to showcase these historical and political parallels. (Note that, as has been mentioned on this blog before, “Game Change” actually has a lot of similarities to MJ even though Sarah Palin is VERY different from Katniss in many ways, both feature a female character “campaigning” for a cause and frequently “going rogue” and disregarding the scripts their handlers want them to follow.)
Note that the MJ marketing again touched on the idea of “Panem field hands = African Americans”, considering the race of the woman chosen to represent the Grain district (even though she likely hailed from the Midwest, not as strongly associated with the African American civil rights struggle as the Deep South, though certainly the North had/has its own issues with racism as well.)
Unfortunately, it’s likely too late for the MJ movies to draw the obvious parallels between the MJ rebellion and what’s happening at the Ukraine-Russia border these days, right down to innocent civilians being caught in the cross-fire, with each side pointing the finger at the other as the culprit for a wartime atrocity. Much as in MJ, I wonder if we’ll ever find out the REAL story about who shot down that airliner. (On the other hand, there’s still almost two years worth of marketing to go…)
But we know that the Iraq war helped to inspire SC to write this story, as did her father’s experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. I can certainly see, for example, a shot of rebels dragging down a statue of Snow, much as Saddam Hussein’s statue bit the dust. Or perhaps we’ll see a shot of Snow being dragged out of a bunker somewhere. And while Julianne Moore’s description of D13 seems more consistent with “Jericho” and other post-apocalyptic societies than the historical Soviet Union, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some reference to the idea of “Capitol = US, D13 = USSR”; perhaps a nod to classic Cold War era movies such as “Dr. Strangelove” (which itself based the not-so-good Doctor partly on Werner von Brown, who managed to jump from serving the Nazis in WWII to directing NASA in the 1960s; hmm, that sounds almost like what Plutarch did, actually).
Finally, the reason I titled this post “Applicability”, is that the current events in Crimea really did impress me with how applicable this series is to the Ukraine/Russia conflict, even though SC wrote the books years before this conflict flared up. In both, we have rebels who want to break away from one problematic regime, yet are backed by another regime that has many problematic aspects as well. This is one reason I think this series may remain relevant for a while, even after the last MJ movie.
Caesar’s Scrunchy is back once again with EVEN MOAR visual beauty! Today, she’s talking about how Catching Fire portrayed the way Cinna left his mark on more than just The Mockingjay!
I decided to fill the time waiting for “Mockingjay” by watching “Catching Fire” again, and noticed that Effie Trinkett was wearing a necklace (in Katniss’ wedding dress/Mockingjay dress scene) that looked like arrowheads. Then I noticed Katniss’ earrings when her dress transforms become arrowheads too, and then… there were arrowheads (triangles) ALL OVER the movie!
And they were worn only by Katniss’ allies, whether she knew they were her allies or not.
Then I decided that because, as Effie says, Cinna is the most influential designer in the Capitol, it makes sense that he would put these arrowheads subliminally in his designs, and that others would copy him.
Check it out – these pages show Cinna’s influence, with tons of arrowheads (triangles) throughout. I found these images from basic Google web searches (I don’t own any of the photos or anything else– it all belongs to Lionsgate and Suzanne Collins, ok?)
VICTORY TOUR COSTUMING
PRESIDENT SNOW AND HIS FOLLOWERS
But trust me: it’s tons of fun watching “Catching Fire” again, and seeing if you can find who else wears the arrowheads…and who doesn’t!
Our latest guest post comes from the hilariously tag-named Caesar’s Scrunchy, who has a few awesome points about the relationship between Katniss and Peeta (with visuals!)
You know you’re desperate for more “Mockingjay” action when you’re willing to do a school writing assignment in the summertime, which wasn’t assigned and will never be graded! But we’ve got to do something to pass the time waiting for the next propo, right?
So I’ve done a “compare and contrast” assignment just like in school, where we take two different things – two poems, two books, two films, etc. – and see what is different and what is similar about them. These assignments aren’t always fun, but when we do them, we can learn a lot more about each one by looking more closely at them. And it can be especially fun if you compare “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” movies (because what else are we going to do
besides watch these two fave movies, amiright?!) The books have these parallels as well, but that REALLY feels like a school assignment, and doing it this way, I got to watch the movies again as “research.”
In some cases, the exact opposite from what happened in HG happened in CF (I noted those with the arrows). I used to think the first two books were a bit similar, but the more I worked on this, I appreciated how hard the filmmakers worked to give us an amazing number of little details that created great symmetry between the two movies. Or, to quote Haymitch, “Genius!” When you look at the comparisons, I hope you agree.
If you like this, feel free to watch the movies again (as if anyone needs an invitation?) and see if you can find more contrasts and comparisons. I wonder what would happen if we added Gale to the mix? Or compared Seneca Crane vs. Plutarch? Or HG Buttercup vs. CF Buttercup? J
PS – I own none of the images here, they are just for illustration purposes to show each point. AND: this is the first thing I’ve ever written for VictorsVillage.com, and I hope you like it.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: THE HUNGER GAMES AND CATCHING FIRE
THE BALANCE BETWEEN THEM
Three years ago, I started a blog to talk about this amazing book I read. You might have heard of it- it was called The Hunger Games. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, just me talking about my thoughts on things like video games and Finnick and Annie… until I wrote a post about the personal impact reading the series had on me, not only as a reader, but as a citizen of the world:
“It would be an understatement to say that I was a wreck. I like happy endings. I can deal with loss, and death, and sadness, as long as at the end good triumphs over evil. To me, no one won at the end of Mockingjay.
It felt so sad, so hopeless in those hours after I finished the book. I couldn’t let it end like that. I needed to give myself a happy ending.
The Hunger Games series is a book about many things, but for me the realistic depiction of how poverty and oppression go hand in hand was at the heart of the books. The districts were easily manipulated by the Capitol not only by a deprivation of resources, but also (and more importantly) by a deprivation of information. It is not until the Districts gain the ability to learn and communicate with one another that the Rebellion is born.
Education powers revolutions.”
I put my words into action and went to donorschoose.org. There I found a project from a teacher in New York City:
“My Students: My Latino and African-American students attend a high poverty school in New York City.
They are 13 going on 14, have a nose for injustice, and love to argue. I need The Hunger Games to give their voices a focus. After I discussed the book on the first day of school, they were hooked. They would love a chance to investigate a current social issue and try to solve it. As we will read this novel later in the year, they will also have a chance to apply their Social Studies lessons.
My Project: The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel full of social issues that the students will identify and define. For each issue, they will need to explain how external events shaped it, how it shapes a character’s choices and relationships with others, and how it inspires characters to act and change their social environments. At the end, they will choose a social issue we face (problem) and think of ways to change it (solution). The unit not only allows them to examine how literature reflects society, it helps them see the complexities of real social issues. By discussing the issues and thinking of creative solutions, they are laying the groundwork for a better future.
Unfortunately, my school does not have the money to purchase 35 books. Reading is fundamental to a good education. Please help me provide my students with the resources necessary to foster my students’ minds!”
I donated and then spammed my family and friends through social media until the project was fully funded. The teacher was thrilled, the students had access to books they were genuinely excited about reading, and I had that warm fuzzy feeling that only comes with helping someone else out… and I wanted more.
Through the support and help from Savanna and Adam of the Fireside Chat and DownWithTheCapitol, we started a small movement to fund more teachers looking to use the series in their classrooms. This was back in the early days of the fandom- the Fireside Chat was about a month old and DWTC less than a year with only a handful of other sites out there; but our small band of rebels was still able to help two classrooms get the books they needed.
Fast forward to now: the Hunger Games is a global phenomenon: there are dozens (if not hundreds of fan sites); the Fireside Chat logged 130 episodes, and there are almost 20,000,000 fans on The Hunger Games’ official Facebook page. I’d say it’s time to try this literacy revolution over again.
Let’s get Books For Tributes.
My goal is to fund teachers across the country looking to put The Hunger Games in their classrooms and libraries using donorschoose.org.
As of today, I have 45 projects queued up on this donorschoose campaign page, and every. single. one. of them is looking to place our favorite book series into the hands of kids across the US.
So, let’s do it.
Let’s stand with the Mockingjay and start a Literacy Revolution. Our goal is simple. As Hunger Games fans who believe in equity and empowerment, we will work to fund as many as possible of the requests for Hunger Games books posted on donorschoose.org.
We’ll take it one class at a time—just as Katniss and the Rebels worked District by District to overthrow the Capitol. Give as much or as little as you like, as often as you wish. When we fully fund a project, I’ll let you know on the Books For Tributes twitter and Facebook pages.
When you donate please place the following somewhere in your personal message:
“I gave to this project because I’m with the Mockingjay, and support a literacy revolution in American classrooms. #books4tributes”
When you tweet about donating please use #books4tributes
Let’s set a goal to fund these 45 projects before Mockingjay hits theaters this fall, so that when we see Katniss on screen, fighting the Capitol, we can know that we’ve done our part to fuel our own revolution in Panem.
Fire is catching, and we are the spark. And if we put our hearts and minds behind this effort, the Capitol doesn’t stand a chance.
*three finger salute*
It’s time for the first entry in our latest series of guest posts! Kait is in full-on wedding mode so you’ll be hearing from special guest writer over the course of the next few weeks. Remember, you can submit a guest post to email@example.com anytime!
Our first entry comes from Justin, who thinks District 12 seems awfully familiar. Enjoy!
Hello! I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the curious parallels between the place where I am from and District 12. As the books state, Katniss hails from the region today known as Appalachia in the Eastern United States. I, however, am from the Forest of Dean District. It makes up the western portion of the county of Gloucestershire in south-west England. (Everdeen/evergreen/Dean? Get it?) Up until the mid 20th Century the area’s main local industries were coal and iron ore mining.
One of the two main towns of the district is called Cinderford (pop: 8,116) which is right on the edge of the forest itself. You can walk straight out of it into the woods just as Katniss does when she goes hunting. And, of course, District 12 gets reduced to cinders. The other town is called Coleford, but ‘cole’ is derived from the Latin for ‘cabbage’, apparently. I guess The Capitol didn’t care enough about the Districts to recognize proper names for their individual settlements.
I have saved the best for last. For hundreds of years in the Forest of Dean there has been a tradition known as Freemining whereby private individuals can claim a parcel of land to mine for themselves. These personal plots are known as ‘gales‘. No, really.
This is an extract from the Dean Forest (Mines) Act 1838:
“All male persons born or hereafter to be born and abiding within the said Hundred of St Briavels, of the age of twenty one years and upwards, who shall have worked a year and a day in a coal or iron mine within the said Hundred of St Briavels, shall be deemed and taken to be Free Miners.”
(There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on whether it is ‘Freeminers’ or ‘Free Miners’.)
I think there are some more links between the HG character of Gale and the FoD Freeminers:
“Amongst other places, Free Miners were frequently requested to fight in France and fought throughout the Hundred Years War, most famously at the famous battles at Crecy (1346) and Agincourt (1415). Miners became used to being an essential part of the King’s armoury, Dean miners were sometimes called ‘The King’s Miners’ and ‘King’s Pyoneers’, known generally as ‘Sappers’ they undermined fortifications, created earthworks, trenches, building timber structures, installing stakes etc. As well as their renowned mining skills, the miners were also excellent archers and ferocious in hand to hand combat; they were hard men, used to operating in harsh conditions. By law from 1363 all English males from 7 – 60 years old were required to practise archery for at least two hours on Sundays and festival days…” Source.
In Mockingjay, Gale Hawthorne, the miner who wanted to be free, has a big hand in undermining the fortification known as the Nut. (Although, the Free Miners were, themselves, very much part of the establishment.)
So, if any of you out there gets an opportunity to talk with Suzanne Collins, do please ask her if there actually are any connections between The Hunger Games and the Forest of Dean.
We love Lionsgate, but sometimes these guys just set themselves up!
Behold, Capitol Concerns– an open forum on TheCapitol.PN for the questions and concerns of Hunger Games fans as the release of Mockingjay approaches. As if they didn’t know! As if they haven’t seeeeeen! Of course, the response was exactly what you’d expect.
In all fairness, a few fans tried to express their legitimate concerns about the movie:
Or made snarky commentary on the teaser:
But mainly, as @antovolko pointed out, this happened:
There was even one fan who avoided the “T” word in hopes that skirting around the topic may get a different result:
Maybe it’s just us, but we’re thinking that The Capitol knows what the concerns of the people are. The people are pretty singular-minded. The #FreePeeta trend was a lovely trend and will surely be a concern for some, but most of us have read the books and that worry for hijacked!Peeta will be quickly overridden by knowing what happens in the end.
Much like Plutarch says in the end of Mockingjay, people are fickle and soon forgot the past– including teasers released a few days ago that don’t contain actual film footage. Not that we don’t appreciate the first haunting peek at Peeta gone Capitol, but whetting our appetites has just made us more hungry than ever. And then they opened the floodgates!
We applaud the brave citizens who have made their concerns known, but maybe we should try should try a more subtlety? We need a secret code for trailer or something, right? We’re gonna go with SOCK MONKEY.
Maybe if we stop talking about it, it’ll reverse-psychology the fuck outta the marketing team and they’ll be like “They don’t care anyone! Release it, release it nooooow!”
Meanwhile, We’re All Like “WHERE THE HELL IS THE SOCK MONKEY?!”
The Girl With The Pearl
P.S. If you’ve got trailer thoughts (or any thoughts on The Hunger Games) and want to help me stay sane in the days leading up to my wedding, check out how you can contribute a guest post!
Guess what, guys? There’s tons of amazing things going on in the fandom right now and we want YOUR opinion on it! Why, you ask? Because we love to have what you have to say (and because I’m getting married in 16 days and staring at a to-do list that is FOREVER GROWING)!
SEND US YOUR GUEST POSTS IF YOU DARE!
We’re seeking out some stellar guest posts because, believe it or not, we know that our opinions aren’t the only ones that matter!
If you’ve got ANYTHING to say about The Hunger Games books, movies, merchandise, actors, fandom, that new teaser and the occasionally obnoxious reactions to it, etc. that you’d like to share with tons of members of the fandom, write it up and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org! Wit preferred, but not required. As long as your writing isn’t a hot mess (we have faith in you!), we’ll post it up to be shared with other fans!
Send in your posts by Thursday, July 3 at 5pm EST and we’ll love you forever!
In case you’re like us and you fell asleep before the release of TheCapitol.PN’s latest advertisement, IT’s HEEEEEEERE!
We dare you to try and hold back your Katniss-style screech of “PEETAAAA!” as you watch President Snow rally the districts with a special guest by his side!
A Note Regarding Our Trailer Contest
Our trailer contest defines the trailer as “the first montage of footage from Mockingjay Part 1″. Based on this criteria, this release DOES NOT COUNT toward the trailer contest! If you haven’t done so already, you can make your guess from the actual trailer release date for a chance to win a poster signed by Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Wright here.
ALERT: WE HAVE MOCKINGJAY PROMOTION, PEOPLE! LOOK ALIVE!
We’re introducing some new fanon today, so pay care attention:
Somehow, some way Norman Rockwell traveled in time to Panem and was recruited to create district propaganda posters for The Capitol. Today, the photos were posted on TheCapitol.PN, which is aliiiiiiive once again! The more we look at these, the surer we are that the Rockwellian approach was intentional.
Artistic style aside, WE HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. Let’s all have a rad sharing sesh! Starting with…
BUT THERE IS NO DISTRICT 12! GALE TOLD US SO!
Why does this image exist? We are so, so very confused about why this poster was done despite its artistic merits. Beautiful little girl covered in soot with a scary breathing mask is beautiful, but canon suggests she is either a) in District 13 or b) DEAD. And we doubt these posters are being shared between the Districts given their personalized nature, so who is seeing this, exactly? Are they hanging this among the ruins? Are they trying to impress the corpses and ashes?
Then there was this surprise moment…
“Oh, a muscular man with lots of tattoos and an ax. Rawr! He’s also got a wooden leg in his hands and… DUDE, WHERE IS THE REST OF YOUR LEG?!”
We gotta say we LOVE THIS. But best part? It’s not photoshop. What a badass! Who needs both legs when you have a face like that, anyway?
It’s really important from an artistic standpoint too because these are supposed to be “heroes” who are affected most by the hardships of the districts and this certainly looks the case. His district character fashioned himself a prosthetic, but it’s his doing and not the Capitol generosity that it supposedly portrays. Citizens and fans like will see right through the Capitol deception.
Anyone else feel like this is a small attempt to make up for leaving out the “amputee Peeta” storyline in the films?
Of course, he’s not the only one getting attention!
Your pants are made out of tire treads! We don’t have male genitalia, but everything about the bottom half of your outfit makes us thinking “EFFING OW!” How did you even walk in that? Maybe somebody wrapped you up in that shizz while you stood really still and tried not to breathe too hard? Anyway, good luck having children in the future!
There’s even a GOAT MAN, guys! Because how else can you support livestock without simultaneously covering yourself in it and holding a baby animal that you’ll later mix into a stew?!
S’okay though! The bull-style nasal piercing and the leather pipe are kind of all we need in life. We’re here for you, goat man!
It’s hard to look hot when you’re holding dead fish, but this model pulls it off! Finnick may not have gotten his fishnet outfit, but we’re glad someone else from District 4 did!
Also, all the models look kind of wet and shiny and finally, in this case it’s actually appropriate! Maybe she was just in the ocean and not just smothered in body oil! *cough* Maybeprobablynot.
Sorry.. we were too busy examining this woman’s flawless skin to come up with appropriate commentary. Confused as to why her makeup was a little overdone otherwise. As far as subtle cultural imagery goes though, this photo probably takes the cake.
Techie types always get the short end of the stick! Hideous face mask of plastic-y doom equipped with looks like a small bomb for an earpiece AND an awkward turtleneck?! You’re so cruel, Capitol!
It’s okay, District 3 citizens! When the current regime dissolves, you’ll be your tormentor’s boss one day! …Or something like that.
Now What’s Capitol TV Gonna Give Us?!
The Girl With The Pearl
It’s June 13th, 2014! Do you know what that means?
HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY, VICTOR’S VILLAGE!
Yes, it’s been three years since our little Hunger Games themed corner of the Internet made its debut! If you told us (particularly me) three years ago that this site would develop into a delightful community of fandom-wide discussion and hilarity, introduce us to tons of amazing friends, and provide us with stellar opportunities to really dive into the fandom we already love in ways that are usually reserved for people WAY cooler than us, our general reaction would be “NO EFFING WAY!”
We won’t bore you with sentimental mush this year. In short, we want to say THANK YOU with some sweet contests! The best part? They’re all open internationally!
CONTEST #1 – GUESS THE TRAILER RELEASE DATE
We know every fan just about is a thousand percent done with waiting for the MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 trailer, so why not turn it into an awesome game?!
Guess the date and time of the MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 trailer released in the comments and you’ll automatically be entered to win a Catching Fire Fan Camp poster signed by Josh Hutcherson, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Wright!
1) Comment on this post with the date and time you think the Catching Fire trailer will be released! All times must be PST. It’s can be down to the minute, if you’d like!
2) In the event that two contestant guess the same exact time, the first visitor to comment will win.
3) All contestants must include a valid email in the appropriate field.
4) This contest is ONGOING until the trailer release!
5) ONE GUESS PER CONTESTANT. Anyone putting in multiple guesses will be disqualified.
6) The winner will be contacted on the day of the trailer release. The winner has 48 hours to claim their prize, after which the prize will be offered to the second closest guess.
CLARIFICATION: Some fans have been asking what we mean by “trailer”. We are defining it as the first montage of footage from Mockingjay: Part 1. Additionally, we will base the contest on the time it will be released online, NOT the time is appears in theaters.
CONTEST #2 – RAFFLE-PALOOZA!
Check out the page below (because Rafflecopter is so jelly of our awesomeness that it won’t work on this site!) t enter for a chance to win another signed Catching Fire Fan Camp poster, DVDs, or Hunger Games art!
Once again… THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your support! It’s not always an easy experience, but it’s super rewarding and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
And It’s Friday the 13th! Muahahahaha!
The Girl With The Pearl