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This is a pure work of speculation, and not a defamation of character, or characters– but today I learned about the YouTube sex scandals that have been rocking parts of the Internet for days. And low, because this is a Hunger Games directed blog my brain latched onto the thought of “what if YouTube was Panem, and instead of people like Tom Milsom allegedly taking advantage of an under age fan, it was Peeta Mellark or someone as innocent looking in the public consciousness?” Not much to go on, but considering that Panem is supposed to be based on our own world, but augmented, or jacked up to an acid trip level of weird. Say that seven times fast! The thing is, Panem isn’t without its own scandals, so why add-on the hypothetical, and uncharacteristic idea of someone like Peeta being an uber asshole, and finding the opportunity to ruin everything he may have going with Katniss by screwing around with a, well– fan? I don’t buy it.
If we’re going to talk sexual exploitation, The Hunger Games universe, and scandals– we have at least two people to talk about, maybe three– perhaps four. Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason, Coriolanus Snow, and about a couple of thousand, or few hundred money-grubbing Capitol citizens who love, love, love the idea of doing naughty things with some sanctioned murderers, erm Victors. Finnick of course we know has been abused to the nth degree since he won his games when he was 14, which if you don’t shudder at the thought of a 14 year-old boy being forced to perform sexual acts with strangers for fear of his family, and loved ones being tortured or killed– you need to go get some help. Why? Because, say it with me now “ewwwwwww!” Right then, I’m sure there are about a bazillion horrible, half way decent, and maybe a handful of good fan fiction stories about this, but I’m gonna posit that Johanna was also exploited by the Capitol in almost the exact same way as Finnick. It’s already known that everyone she loves is dead, she said it her self in Catching Fire, but we don’t know how it all went down. Me thinks like Finnick, because she was one of the more attractive, and feisty tributes to become a Victor that she also forced into the elite Capitol prostitution ring that Finnick had already been part of for so long. This is also why I think that Finnick and Johanna’s friendship is on a level that many people could never fathom. Why? Because in my head I imagine some pretty horrid shit going down in that ring of sexual exploitation, stuff out of Requiem for a Dream, stuff out of Eyes Wide Shut, stuff out of The Story of O, sick, twisted stuff– and I think they experienced some of this trauma together. But how did Johanna lose everyone she loves if she was supposedly going along with this horribleness? Easy, she stopped not saying no, and they murdered her family, loved ones, and friends for her insubordination.
Now, that would never happen on Youtube, would it?
Them There Eyes
Are you starving? ‘Cause I’m starving! Yes, for legit Mockingjay: Part 1 news! Sorry if you thought I meant I was starving for food, and yes I know making jokes about starving for food isn’t in the best taste, but come on! We’ve never toted our selves at the most PC of blogs, have we? The answer to that question would be a succinct, and a definite “nope!” So where was I? Oh yes… WHERE’S THE BLOODY MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 news we’re bloody well starving for?! Um, no where to be seen or heard from that’s where.
Let’s put things into a bit of perspective, shall we? Some of the most secretive, and anticipated films of the decade have been releasing information on their productions almost every other week for the last several weeks. I’m talking about Star Wars: Episode VII, which you have to agree is one of the most talked upped sequels in history. Well, casting news for that one is happening all the time. And then there’s Captain America’s third installment, we now know that it’ll be released the same day as the Batman/ Superman film that every other person and their dad is up in arms about the casting of Ben Affleck in (I don’t care, I like Ben). But the
Mockingjay films that have been in production for months, we’ve got zilch legit news, unless you count Danny Strong saying in an interview that he’s under a gag order not to speak about his working on the screenplays, or the cellphone footage of Liam Hemsworth participating in filming a super secret black ops looking Peeta rescue scene in a hotel atrium in Atlanta? Yep, that’s about all we’ve got! Not satisfying, huh? Uh uh.
There’s nothing to do but bide our time, and theories abound that we won’t have to wait too long for something substantial to reach us poor, unfortunate fans. MTV awards shows as we know by now is the place where all the teaser trailers for The Hunger Games franchise have had their debuts. And one is coming up pretty fast. Yep, the one where Katniss Everdeen has been snubbed in the hero category, because we’ve all stuck in a world where those with lady parts are not considered hero worthy for silly cable television awards shows. Anywho, the awards ceremony is on the 13th of April, meaning we’ve got a little under a month to go. So I say sit tight fellow fans! We’ll get our teaser trailer, and then have fun over analyzing that for about six weeks, and we’ll be sated for a time!
Them There Eyes
Who wants to visit the Mockingjay set? Sorry, that was a dumb question. Of course you want to visit the Mockingjay set, unless you are one of those severely spoiler-phobic people who doesn’t want to know any details about the film until you actually see it (in which case, you’ll probably want to stay away from 75% of the posts on this site, cause obsessing over every detail is kind of what we do.)
But rejoice, because now for the low-low price of a $10 charitable donation you can enter to win a trip to the Mockingjay set and tour with producer Jon Kilik. There are several donation levels that get you varying entries in the contest and before you complain to me that you don’t have any money, there is a free entry option if you read the fine print. And it’s an even sweeter prize when you consider air travel and hotel are included from virtually anywhere in the world – there are some exclusions, so again, read the fine print.
According to the prize administrator’s website,
Jon will personally show you around, introduce you to some of the cast members who are working that day, watch behind the scenes and have lunch with you on set.
You know those DVD features we all went nuts for? It’s a chance to get some of that IN PERSON. *Commence heavy breathing* Ok, I need to calm down.
Entries are weighted based on the amount of charitable contribution in a kind of reverse-tesserae scenario. So it’s true, if you don’t donate much, the odds aren’t in your favor. But hey, Prim only had her name in once. It can happen. And if you don’t win the trip, well, you just made a charitable donation. You’re a winner in the Generosity Olympics. You can feel good about that.
If you’ve got more cash to throw around, you can enter an auction to win a non-speaking extra role in Mockingjay though at a current bid of $8,500, that’s quite a financial commitment for most of us. Though even if I were super-rich I don’t think I would do this one because I would be afraid that my mere presence in the movie would screw it up somehow. I don’t need that kind of guilt hanging over me.
Beyond how awesome it would be to actually win this set visit or be in the actual movie, the contest reveals some clues about production. The Charitybuzz site with the walk-on role auction says that shooting will continue in Atlanta until April 18, so presumably filming will shift to Europe after that. Travel dates for the set visit with Jon Kilik are either April 14, 15, or 16. You know that MTV Movie Awards shindig that’s happening on April 13? Well, these dates still leave it open that some of the cast may be attending if you consider that April 14 is a travel day, not a set visit day.
So if you’re inclined, go ahead and enter/bid. And may the odds…. you know the rest.
Hollywood is not a nice place, okay maybe it is on the surface. The sun’s out 90% of the time, people smile a lot, they’re tan, and fashionable for the most part, but you know what? Beyond all that surface crap, it’s a really cut throat, superficial place, and populated also in part by some pretty disingenuous souls. Which brings me to this fact: We’ve got some more than nice people populating the cast of our favorite franchise.
Jennifer Lawrence, quirky-no-filter Jen is the head of the nice cast. Or at least she’s never come off as faking her weird, or the gratitude for the exceptional places her career has taken her over the last several years. She’s too odd, and unapologetic for her personality traits to be a back stabbing, evil, Hollywood starlet like so many we’ve seen and heard about over the years. Great for us I think, because it means if we run screaming at her down the street (don’t do it kids), she’ll maybe not snub us if we give her a compliment, and of course tell her she needs to be our best friend (also don’t do this kids).
Which brings me to this other fact: Sometimes the really nice people who populate the cast of our favorite franchise are nice even to us– personally. If you haven’t noticed over the last few years here at Victor’s Village when we write about the cast, we don’t exclusively write about the principles, i.e. Jen, Josh, Liam, and Woody. No, we also write about the other players, the Amandla’s, the Dayo’s, the Jackie’s, the Jeffrey’s, the Meta’s, and the Bruno’s. So, here’s the deal– one of those people has been very nice back to us, and we have to acknowledge that right here, and right now, because it’s the right thing to do damn it.
Bruno Gunn– we’ve written about him more than a handful of times, and he has returned the favor in a rather public, and perfect way. This is how it begins, several months ago The Girl With The Pearl and I were in LA to attend the US premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and we decided as a team that we should wear matching Victor’s Village t-shirts to the fan camp grounds down at LA Live to stand out as more than just random fans milling about aimlessly waiting for Sam Claflin to show up– which he did, and he was also a genuine, and pleasant chap.
Conveniently we were photographed in those t-shirts, and well– Bruno saw them, because as we should all know by now he’s very up on social media. Long story short, he told us through the magic of social media that he wanted a Victor’s Village t-shirt. Well, we got him one, and we sent it to him– and finally he had a good place to sport it proudly and publicly, and no we don’t mean at the gym, although that would be okay with us as well. Nope we mean a much better place than the gym, we mean at The Hunger Games: Catching Fire DVD/ Blu-Ray release in Chicago this past week. So in freezing cold climes he dawned his short sleeved black and yellow Victor’s Village t-shirt, and posed graciously with fellow fans, talked with parents of fans, more fans, and also gave our little site that could, some pretty snazzy free advertizing. Can I get a big giant “hell yeah!” And also add an equally giant “thank you!”?
Guess being all inclusive pays off every now and again, huh? Now to get Sam to read our blog and forgive the fandom for being asshats when he was first cast, ’cause we were– and we’re sorry.
Them There Eyes
This is going to come as a shock to pretty much every single Hunger Games fan on the planet, but I do not want Jennifer Lawrence to win at the Oscars tomorrow night. Yeah, throw tomatoes, or bags of dog poo at me (I’d prefer tomatoes, thank you), but I think I have a good reason for not wanting her to win, or perhaps more than one reason.
Reason number one: I don’t want any more Jennifer Lawrence hate flooding the Internets at large. See, in our sick, twisted, stupid, and fucked up society, we tend to really, really, really, really like to kick people when they’re at a high point. Example: Remember when everyone loved Anne Hathaway, or at least liked her acting, and mostly tolerated her perkiness, and her eager to
please attitude? Yeah, well– have you seen much of Anne Hathaway lately? I’ll answer that question for you. NOPE! She’s been working, true– but she’s had one of the lowest public profiles since her breakthrough role in 2001. And do you know why she’s been so low-key lately? Welp, because the media, and the Internets started becoming an all out hate mongering death trap for her. Jen’s different though, talent wise she’s on par with Hathaway, because come on– even if you don’t like Hathaway you cannot deny that the woman is talented at her craft. However, where Jen and her differ greatly is their all out public persona. Jen’s kind of no-nonsense, quirky, and unapologetic for her inability to conform. Hathaway, um– yeah, she’s kind of a bit of a conformist, a bit faux, and kinda sorta a priss. Seriously, I don’t think we’ll ever see Hathaway making the faces that Jen does, which is okay– Jen’s doin’ her thang, and I will never not enjoy her weird. But Anne, even after all the praise, and the awards, and the hard work she put in, she got a hate storm of epic proportions thrown at her after she won, and was nominated for everything under the sun, and she got that storm thrown at her because she was doing well, and people got tired of her doing well. I do not want that to happen to Jen, therefore even though I do think that her performance in American Hustle was commendable, in full disclosure mode– I
don’t think it’s her year.
Which brings me to my second reason: Lupita Nyong’o– her performance in 12 Years a Slave is earth shatteringly good, actually everyone’s performance in 12 Years a Slave is more than good, all the way down to Garret Dillahunt, and one of my personal favorite character actors, Paul Dano. You know how there are films that just deserve to be recognized because they go places that have never been gone to before? For example Philadelphia, or Midnight Cowboy, 12 Years a Slave is like those films and the performances are above board, and without qualms, or mercy, or affectedness– American Hustle, and Jennifer Lawrence– I can’t with a clear conscience say that either has those same facets in my opinion.
May the best woman win!
Them There Eyes
Robert Knepper doesn’t know anything about the character he’s playing in Mockingjay: Part 1, and Mockingjay: Part 2, not his name, not his background– okay, maybe he knows a bit about the background, or at least a teeny-tiny-tid-bit. Other than that, Bob knows nil, zilch, nada! Um, and Bob would be Robert Knepper by the way, I’ve decided that since I’ve been a fan of his since 2005, that I’m allowed to call him by a nick-name, ’cause I’m cool like that, and a little bit self entitled, and all that jazz. Wait, there are other things things that Bob knows, like how to ski, and roller blade, but that’s not really something he’ll likely need to do on his job! He does however know one important factoid. He knows that in April he’ll be flying to Paris, France to partake of filming the scenes in which he will be portraying the character he knows only crumbs about! Yea verily, we now know that they’ll be filming in Paris, France! Now come the questions: Why Paris, and what in Paris?
Interiors? Paris is home to some of the most fashionable, and some of the oldest, and still working urban homes, restaurants, and other establishments. And as an interior design dork, the prospect of the Mockingjay films taking advantage of the artistic, and diverse array of interiors the City of Lights has on offer makes me giddy with delight. And
then (yes there’s more), Paris is one of the first cities to utilize the concept of urban planning in the world. Say thank you Napoleon III! “Thank you Napoleon III!” Or, actually let’s thank the real mind behind the planning, “Merci, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann!” And what comes with the amazing that is the planned lay-out of the vast city of Paris? Um, well… a striking resemblance to the fictional Capitol in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. Booya! Location shooting is always so much more authentic than when sets are built from scratch, plus I think it makes the cast and crew more happy, because they get better food like 99% of the time. The jet lag sucks though!
Who cares, they’re going to freakin’ France!
Them There Eyes
Coriolanus Snow, Coriolanus Snow, Coriolanus Snow. See, I wrote it out three times, because maybe he’s like Beetlejuice, and he’ll magically appear in my living room spouting calm, cool, and collected barbs of hatred? I don’t see that happening any time soon, so alas I will have to suffice with other Coriolanus’. Tonight I went and saw the National Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus starring none other than Tom Hiddleston, yep Loki from the Marvel films. I’m pleased to announce that Tom was formidable, present, and totally worthy of all the praise that’s been lavished upon him. He is truly a gifted actor, however truth be told– I only made it through an hour and a half of the production.
Aye there’s the rub. See, while I am a fan of Shakespeare, and all its rich, and splendid language, I however am not a fan of near continuous shouting. Bulging veins in Tom’s forehead are greatly welcomed, heaving chests too, Tom standing on
stage stripping to the waist and then screaming in pain as a stream of water falls on his head, clearing his face, arms, and chest of a red mask of blood he’d been sporting for several long, sticky minutes, hell the fact that he could carry off the costume they put him in is a feat in my humble, and mild opinion (skinny grey jeans, black mid calf lace-up combat boots, light green Henley, brownish red leather wrist guards/ cuffs, black leather fingerless gloves, and a vest/ body armor made of tough chocolate-brown leather– cheeky grin was just extra). However, here’s another truth for the bucket, I’m kinda sorta painfully ignorant where it comes to the story and/or play about Caisus Martius, later named Coriolanus after a battle he fights brutally at Corioles. Ah ha! Not as ignorant as I thought! So sadly I came to the play tonight fully open, and fully hoping I’d come away with material that could be used in this article you’re reading right now. Um, well– yeah, not so much.
I get why Suzanne Collins named the foul dictator of her made-up country, Coriolanus. That is what I got in an hour and half of simultaneously lusting after Hiddleston, and not exactly knowing why everyone wanted the truly un-political beast he was portraying, to become one of his societies top politicians. Both are brutes, however one in a more reserved, calculating, and scarily silent way, the other will get down in the muck, and the grit, and fight steel to steel with his foe. Both have little to no respect for the common man as well, they feel above them, entitled even, superior, supermen. However tact is where
Coriolanus Snow and Caisus Martius Coriolanus seem to diverge the most, sure they share a name and several personality traits. But Caisus Martius cannot quell a crowd, cannot lower himself to smile and nod, and interact freely and openly with his fellow citizens without insulting them in the process of begging their approval. Well, neither can Snow, but at least he knows that a smile, and putting on parties, and serving amazing food, and masking his sick blood disease from the world is a better way to go than calling out the masses as less than, plebeians, and minnows. In the end I came away with one thought– some day soon I hope to see Tom Hiddleston and Donald Sutherland in a feature together, preferably nothing based on a comic book. And a second thought– I could watch Tom Hiddleston scream whilst having a shower for hours– and I don’t care how perv-y that sounds.
Aptly named Miss Collins– aptly named.
Them There Eyes
Suzanne Collins has been quoted saying that one of her initial inspirations for The Hunger Games, was an innocuous, and very common time wasting moment in her life in the early 2000s, when she was caught channel surfing on her TV. She switched back and forth, and noticed a strange, and disconcerting, as well as disturbing trend. On one channel she’d see Iraq War footage, guns blazing, coffins being wheeled out of giant planes onto airport runways, and sometimes battle footage– and sandwiched between the stark reality of war she saw reality TV programs where people played head games in uncomfortable tropical conditions to win a lot of money, a complete disconnect from the blood, and the smoke, and the death of reality. And that’s when it came to her, what if reality TV went so far that instead of the game being make-believe like it is on series’ like Survivor, what if it was real?
Years later the trilogy is complete, and now the last installment of it is being put to film. Mockingjay is becoming a reality though, but not in the way we’d all like to think whilst sitting back in our comfortable homes. Today three major socially changing events are continuing to unfold. Kiev, Ukraine is burning, and shaking in protest to their pro-Russian government leaders. The internet, print news, radio news, and broadcast news are buzzing with the flames, and the angry, desperate faces and voices of the opposition. West of Ukraine an ongoing civil war has been raging in the country of Syria. People are starving, people are dying in their homes, and on the street as they forage for what ever they can find, and there’s no end in sight, even as leaders on opposing sides of the conflict are having so-called “peace talks”, in Geneva, Switzerland– thousands of miles removed from the mess back home. The talks aren’t working though, at least that’s what I keep hearing over and over again, and the people of Syria are still desperate, starving, and dying. To the east of both Ukraine and Syria is Thailand in Southeast Asia, people continue to take to the streets protesting their government calling their electoral system a sham– police officers are dragging every day, normal citizens away– and tourists still meander the streets of the capitol city of Bangkok. Suzanne Collins published Mockingjay in 2010, but the inspiration could be what’s plastering our TVs, Internet news feeds, and our broadcast news programs right now. We don’t need to wait and see how well Mockingjay is put to film, to see how well the scenes of Katniss and Squad 451 storming the streets of The Capitol– we just have to pay attention to what’s happening to our fellow human beings right now.
Them There Eyes
Our planet seems to be experiencing something called weather lately. From hearing about the cliffs on the coast of Dorset collapsing in places under the weight of the insane amount of water they’ve been pelted with over the last several weeks. Sad day, especially since the particular cliffs I’m talking about were pivotal background in the ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tennant, which amazingly is being remade in the US for Fox, and also starring Tennant. And then there’s extreme drought
happening in California, and then the clincher– the winter blows that have been inundating the east coast of the US, and of course even reaching the normally tolerable winter climes of the South. Yep, Atlanta, Georgia, where The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was filmed and both Mockingjay films are being filmed as well, have been socked in by ice storms and snow. This means two things: One being that production has likely had to stop twice because of the cold ass weather. And two: Global warming is real, yep– in case you were on the fence about that or something.
The media has kind of had fun with these weather phenomena as of late, which is fine– we all like our disaster porn every now and again, right? However, I really don’t see how some journalists can bend frozen precipitation shutting down a film set as a colossal disaster in the making. Weather has affected film productions since, well– since people started making films. Hell, some film makers deliberately would wait for bad weather specifically to film in, because it would make the end result more dramatic– also because special effects didn’t really exist yet. I’m talking about early early film making. Meh, it is true though– the Mockingjay films being shut down because of any reason is a disaster for one reason though– financially that is. They lose huge amounts of money for each day they’re not keeping to a schedule. But what is there to be done when you’re filming in a metro area that only experiences real winter weather every 30 or so years? Um, well– nothing. I say hang tight guys, film’s are gonna get made– little ice and snow isn’t the end of the world!
The real tragedy is the loss of a major cast member, not keeping to a predetermined schedule.
Them There Eyes
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral was held yesterday in his adopted hometown of New York City. It was attended by hundreds of people, so many people attempted to attend actually that many had to be turned away because the church was over capacity. People like his co-stars Amy Adams and Joaquin Pheonix from the film The Master attended, as well as fellow New York based actors like Ethan Hawke– whom I
believe lives in the same neighborhood as Hoffman’s family, in attendance as well was Michelle Williams, as well as acting icons like Meryl Streep. All signs in other words are still pointing to the fact that Hoffman was, and is a highly respected figure in our current culture. Respect is the word I think I want to be emphasized here, because while many of us were shocked, and amazed at Hoffman’s sudden passing, we also a lot of the time seemingly automatically thought about the affect his death would have on the Mockingjay films.
Is that a sign of disrespect though? I remember when another highly beloved, highly respected, and talented actor was taken long before his time, right in the middle of filming another highly anticipated film, although not a Tent-Pole style film like the Mockingjay films– I’m speaking of Heath Ledger. Ledger was in the middle of filming the Terry Gilliam film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, when he too died of an unfortunate drug overdose, and his death sent the film production into a proverbial tails-spin of “oh my god what do we do!?” However, also with a healthy dose of “this is so sad, this is so sad, who cares about making a film… this is so sad.” The film was finished though, ingeniously by having three other actors come in and play Ledger’s character– turning the character into a sort of manifestation of everything the female lead desires at that moment in time. See the film, it’ll make more sense, and you’ll also get to see Andrew Garfield in his first American film in the process of watching, also Christopher Plummer is amazing in it as well. And to be completely indulgent, I’m still not over Ledger’s death, I don’t think I ever will be– because he was the first contemporary of mine, first famous contemporary anyway, who died so terribly, and so publicly. I still remember the day it happened, and just being so angry at the older people in the office where I worked, who said “who cares!” When even the radio shared the news, and my saying “his family does, he has a little girl, also… I care.” He was only four years older than me, now he’ll always be younger than me, and I still can’t not remember him at 17 in this awful Fox series called Roar, which I faithfully watched when it was trying to make something of its self– and I knew the show sucked, but I also knew that he didn’t. Eleven years later he’d been nominated for an Academy Award, and after he passed he won Best Supporting Actor posthumously on his second Academy Award nomination.
All this Heath Ledger remembering is making me feel things! Respect is still the word I’m focusing on by the way– because I think it was innovative, and perfect, and respectful the way that Gilliam got around, and in a way enhanced The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus by casting Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp to pick up where Ledger unknowingly left off. With the Mockingjay films though there’s only one scene left to be shot that features Philip Seymour Hoffman– meaning unlike with Doctor Parnassus where nearly half of Ledger’s role was yet to be shot, recasting the role of Plutarch Heavensbee isn’t feasible at all. So, what’s to be done about this conundrum so to speak? Well, hours after Hoffman’s death was announced, and I reeled, and quaked, and cried a little after getting the initial news texts from several of my friends– the discussion started. How are they going to finish this thing without him? And I said they’d use technology, that there’s more than 20 years of voice samples for the sound team to choose from, and they could make a computer synthesize his voice, and have the computer be Hoffman for that one remaining scene. Well, looks like I was right, and on top of it all they’re allegedly going to make a digital visualization of Hoffman as well.
My quarry is this though… is this creepy, is this disrespectful, is it too much?
Them There Eyes