Oh, The Mockingjay Soundtrack Possibilities

Can you hear it?

No, not the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up your heart (because the buzzing and thumping in that song make it too hard to hear that anyway….) THE SOUNDTRACK RUMORS! THEY’RE STARTING!

We’re hoping it’s just a matter of days before the whole glorious tracklist is announced, but in the meantime we’ll salivate over a few measly rumors.

It's coooommmminggg!

It’s coooommmminggg!

According to Page Six, Mockingjay Part 1’s soundtrack will include Grace Jones, Simon Le Bon, Diplo, Charli XCX, and Kanye West.

Let us be the first to say that PAGE SIX IS NOT THE MOST RELIABLE OF SOURCES. We know that as well as the next person. The only reason we believe it could possibly hold any weight is that of the publication wanted to spread salacious rumors per usual, they’d talk about something other than a movie soundtrack.

Also, we’re not going to talk about Kanye West. Because fuck that dude.

Let’s start with the 80s. Grace Jones isn’t exactly a household name nowadays, but she was fairly well known back then. Her music, it seems, is of the R&B avant-garde electropop nature that’s directly up Lorde’s alley. We can’t say that we love the music we’re finding during our research, but who knows how the decades since have changed her musical style? Even more surprising is Simon Le Bon. Admittedly, we only know him as “the guy from Duran Duran” and their sound is pretty straight-forward pop with a funky edge. But the man has a solo career as well, one in which he experiments with all different sorts of sounds.

Because someone out there made this horrid manip and WE NEED TO SHARE IT RIGHT NOW!

Because someone out there made this horrid manip and WE NEED TO SHARE IT RIGHT NOW!

Next up comes Diplo, who we’re not too familiar with, but we know he’s the DJ who worked with Sia and The Weeknd on “Elastic Heart” for the Catching Fire soundtrack. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking many people were excited for anyone but Sia on that track. We would assume he’ll be working with someone else on this soundtrack, because most of us need more than beats thumping. Maybe our next artist, Charli XCX?

Charli gained her notoriety from “Boom Clap” from The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack, all the singing parts in Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, and generally sounding like Gwen Stefani when she’s not doing that slow, jazzy thing. We’ve not totally reached the saturation point with her current two songs, but we’re getting pretty damn close. Lorde would probably dig her sound because it has the same vibes, but the choice isn’t quite as innovative as any of the others. Charli XCX is pretty cool in the moment, but we’re not putting her in the next big thing category quite yet.

So until we get an actual track listing.. We’ll see!

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The Girl With The Pearl

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125 Minutes

The latest rumor in Mockingjay Part 1 waiting-land concerns the movie runtime.  The movie’s IMDb page (which can be edited by people with a paid account) now lists 125 minutes. If true, that would be about 21 minutes shorter than Catching Fire and 17 minutes less than The Hunger Games, but who’s counting?

All we want is for you to make another incredible movie for us. NO PRESSURE!

All we want is for you to make another incredible movie for us. NO PRESSURE!

Well, all the fans are, from the buzz about it. That, or we’re just trying to take our minds off the silly snack food promotion. Whether the runtime is actually 125 minutes or not, we’ve heard from Francis Lawrence himself that the individual Mockingjay movies would be shorter than the previous movies. There’s two movies to cover one book, after all. We would hope that having the luxury of two movies means that there will be no need to rush through scenes or edit out material we love for the sake of run time. And we have every indication that there will be some new material added because we are able to see beyond just Katniss’s perspective.

Of course, the cynical business person in me also notes that a shorter runtime adds up to the availability of more movie showings per theater per day, but I’ll put that aside in favor of the thought that the movie will be as long as it needs to be to tell the story.  Catching Fire’s end credits were 10 mins 20 seconds (yes I did just check that on my digital copy of the movie), so 125 minutes means about 115 minutes of real movie time. If Francis Lawrence thinks 115 minutes is enough to tell this part of the story I’m going to trust him. And then we’ll have some extra time to sit and cry during the end credits and wonder about how appropriate that Lorde song really is for the movie.

Until the next rumor…

JJ

Eating Your Way To The Hunger Games

I think by now the message of The Hunger Games trilogy is pretty ingrained in our brains, right? That gluttony is bad, and that the haves and have-nots should be less pronounced. Welp, apparently someone didn’t get the message.

CandylandThere’s this contest being put on in Canada. And by the way this is no dig at Canada, it’s– I don’t know what it is really. Perhaps shock and awe? So, the contest is this– Snack Your Way to LA, where the object of the game is to take a photo of specific snack food items UPC codes, and send enter them into this handy-dandy little entry form thingie. Awesome, right? Um yeah, only if you’re oblivious and can’t see the irony in a context to win prizes, and tickets to see Mockingjay– involves the excesses of snack food, the least nutritious food on the mass market, BTW– good luck.

Slow clap for the genius who didn’t think backwards or forwards when they came up with this one. ‘Cause I’m about ready to forfeit my common sense, and call this quite possibly the best joke since Subway had a partnership with Lionsgate and The Hunger Games franchise. What is going on with people’s brains on this one?! Do they not get that the series has a message, a message that belittles, and looks down on excess, and well– um, contests for that matter?

I give up… hold you’re ridiculous contests, forget that The Hunger Games is the opposite of snack food material. Don’t ask people to think, just have ‘em eat chocolate ’til they burst. Just once… ONCE I’d like to see a robustly sponsored prize for this franchise involve something altruistic, something good, something decent.

Until then… we’ve got snack food to take pictures of.

Them There Eyes

Missing from the Mockingjay Part 1 Cast Pictures

Early this week wrapped up the 8 days of exclusive picture releases on Instagram, which make up the Mockingjay Part 1 Cast & Crew page on Hunger Games Explorer. And, in light of no other news right now, I’m going to speculate like crazy about why some pictures are missing.

We're missing a few cast pictures but this one of Katniss kind of makes up for it.

We’re missing a few cast pictures but this one of Katniss kind of makes up for it.

First, the obvious. Delly’s not there. Delly never had a casting announcement. Delly has definitely gone the way of Madge into book/movie re-writes.  I argued ages ago that this can be a really good thing for the movie because it can allow Prim’s character to become more substantial. Any Delly remaining believers can hold onto the tiniest shred of hope that Part 1 ends with Peeta just getting to 13 so her part wouldn’t have happened yet I suppose. But nah, it’s looking quite clear that she’s gone.

Then onto someone who had a casting announcement and made us go HUH WHO IS ANTONIUS AND HOW DID I MISS THAT IN THE BOOK? Yes, the new character of Antonius, to be played by Robert Knepper. His character is supposed to be some deputy of President Snow. The actor and role were worthy of a casting announcement, so why doesn’t he merit placement here? Did the size of the role get reduced? Is it more of a Part 2 role? Or is Lionsgate holding everything back about him because, as a new character, he can be a complete surprise?

We're sad because there was no Annie picture, but here's Peeta. Let's cry.

We’re sad because there was no Annie picture, but here’s Peeta. Let’s cry.

In the same vein as trying to keep the surprise, Jena Malone is the only cast member to not get a new still in this section. It looks like a grab from the Capitol’s propaganda poster. They’re keeping the Capitol torture under wraps for now. If Antonius is involved in the torture/hijacking plot, which I believe he is, not having him pictured makes some kind of sense. But I wonder why they couldn’t be able to capture some kind of non-spoilery still of him from the movie? Is it all just too terrible???

Maybe I’m reading more into this than necessary, but Paula Malcolmson isn’t pictured either. We know she’s in the movie – she’s in the trailer. She was pictured on the Catching Fire movie page, but not The Hunger Games. I’m going to say that her exclusion here hints that her role will be minimal, but let’s face it, Mrs. Everdeen’s role in her daughter’s life, even sharing a compartment in District 13, is minimal.

Finally, I know people were hoping to see Annie Cresta, but she’s also a no show. I think this is partly because she will get very little screen time in Part 1. But I also think it’s a little bit of Lionsgate trying to keep whatever they can secret for as long as possible. At least we no longer have to wait too long.

Next month we actually get the movie!

JJ

 

 

Spine Spoilers, Story Secrets, And Whether It Still Matters

Victor’s Village has never been a spoiler-free zone. In fact, we relish in our spoiler discussion. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome ’round here! However, when it comes to most of the media covering the Hunger Games outside fandom-related websites and forums, we’d still like to think most sites and media outlets are relatively spoiler-free. It’s not that they won’t discuss or hint, but they’ll probably give a warning so you’re not diving into unwanted information. That way, someone who finally, FINALLY decides to delve into the series can have a relatively fresh start and experience everything the same way many of us did: Laughing, crying, gasping, and otherwise freaking out because

WHAT THE HELL WAS HAPPENING?!

But that seems to be changing.

Imagine the facepalming that ensued when Crystal from Jabberyjays.net pointed out the brand new Scholastic UK editions of the series, complete with a major spoiler right on the spine of the Mockingjay cover:
HUNGER-GAMES-BOOKS

Quick note that we love these covers! Between them and the luxury editions in Australia and New Zealand, our jealousy of foreign editions grows by the day.

But effectively, Scholastic is spoiling their own damn series for newbies. I know it’s hard to believe that people with little knowledge still exist, especially with the success of the films, but THEY’RE OUT THERE, MAN. Sure, the District 12 line was at the end of the Catching Fire movie, but not everyone saw (or paid attention) to that, necessarily. So if you’ve only seen or read Book One and you see that Mockingjay spine, you can safely assume that a) District 12 gets obliterated or b) District 12 is a figment of Katniss’ imagination, the latter of which just seems too damn far fetched. Aaaaaand there’s a major plot point!

Do we wish they had read the books by now? YES. EVERYONE SHOULD BECAUSE THEY’RE AWESOME. Are we going to hate on them for considering the books a little later in the game by shaming them for probably not being much of a reader? NOT TODAY.

Still, at this point, it seems like the large majority of people are very well-read (or well-watched, should we say?) on at least a chunk of the series. As such, it seems like information that’s technically a spoiler gets released pretty nonchalantly these days, almost as if to say to outsiders “Well, if you wanted to discover this on your own sometime, too bad. It’s your own damn fault for not doing it sooner.”

It’s not just The Hunger Games, of course. For instance, I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but I can give you a pretty solid synopsis of all the major plot points on Game of Thrones. And because of this, I strangely feel LESS compelled to ever catch up on the show despite friends raving about it. Sure, knowing and experiencing are two different things, but knowing does take some of the fun out of experiencing it all. There’s this feeling that I’m too far “behind” and un-surprised by in everything for it to really matter.

So even though a huge amount of people can practically quote The Hunger Games books and movies, there’s still some value to keeping things relatively spoiler-free when possible. Again, we don’t really expect this from fansites and forums because the whole purpose of them is to thoroughly cover the series, but blatant spoilers elsewhere are pretty sucky. Because who knows how many potential fans won’t bother trying to get into the series now that they’re learning too much?

Or Are We Too Hopeful That New Fans Will Still Arise?
The Girl With The Pearl

Violence, Lies, and Videotape– The Parallels Between Panem and Ricegate

The good news: We’ve got a guest post today!

But there’s some important notes about this post: The subject is heavy and possibly triggering for some people. The opinions are those of the writer and they ain’t rainbows and kittens.

With that said… Take it away, Satsuma!

_______________________________________________________________

NOTE: The following contains, toward the end, spoilers (though vague) for Game of Thrones Season 4, and another vague spoiler for (the original) Dr. Who.

First of all, let me apologize for not exactly bringing the funny in this post, because I just couldn’t figure out a way to do it.

Most of you likely know of, or perhaps even seen, the infamous video featuring the talented Mr. Rice, formerly an employee of the Baltimore Ravens, punching his then-fiancee (now wife) so hard she was knocked unconscious. Now, I have always been fascinated by the many parallels between Panem and the real world, but I must admit I didn’t notice any here, until I read the timely post by JJ regarding Josh Hutcherson revealing that Peeta is shown saving Katniss after she’s set on fire by the parachute bombs, and her comment that: “It may also help buy back some goodwill from the purely movie-going audience for all the times he *gulp* tries to hurt her in hijacked rage.”

And then I realized, that there IS a parallel between the Ray Rice video and Mockingjay. A pivotal MJ scene also features a video of a celebrated male contestant in a game known for violence, attacking his fiancee. Not only that, this incident is important in MJ not really because Peeta attacks Katniss, which he has before this point, but because, when he actually watches his actions on video, Peeta is shocked and horrified at himself, to the point of suicidality. The idea that SEEING something makes a unique impact on people, certainly seems to be the case in how quickly public outrage mounted after the Rice video was released, forcing powerful entities such as the NFL to make an about-face, and how even Rice’s defenders, who claimed earlier that “no one really knows what happened in that elevator”, were forced to as well.

Not that video footage is required for shock and outrage, of course; just see what happened in Ferguson, MO. And just because people see images of violence or its effects, doesn’t mean they’ll reject it; many of Adrian Peterson’s defenders admit to seeing the graphic pictures of the injuries he inflicted on his son, but still state that what he did was acceptable discipline. And certainly, what seems to be damning video can be edited or taken out of context, as the torturers do with the Katniss videos they show Peeta; Ray Rice is now claiming as much, as he appeals his indefinite suspension.

And then there's this in Part 2...

And then there’s this in Part 2…

But in general, it does seem images have an impact on people that the written word just doesn’t have. And now we get to JJ’s point about movie-only fans, and the idea that perhaps adding more positive Peeta-Katniss interaction in MJ might counter-balance the impact of seeing Peeta physically attack Katniss. I suspect that even for book readers who know what happened, actually SEEING him try to strangle her, as opposed to the brief, fade-to-black one-liner we get in the book, will have a quite different kind of impact. In general, the only fandom players I have really seen hate on Peeta, are anti-Everlakers who’d prefer Katniss wind up with Gale, Haymitch, Finnick, etc. Indeed, it’s KATNISS who seems to get most of the vitriol for her reactions to hijacked Peeta. But will this change when we actually SEE what he does?

Now, even before Ricegate raised the general awareness of intimate partner violence, I have thought that the MJ film runs a risk of coming across as condoning or excusing violence in relationships. Now, certainly, as far as we know, nobody gave Ray Rice toxic hallucinogens, BUT it’s certainly plausible he may have had alcohol in his system, or even that the hits he’s received on the field have affected his brain. Yet, the conventional wisdom about what he did now seems to be, “There is never ANY excuse for a man to hit the woman he claims to love”. So, what will the casual movie fan, think about Peeta’s actions? And what will they think of Katniss? Note that the public hasn’t exactly been THAT supportive of Mrs. Rice, either; many people have sighed at yet another example of a woman standing by a man who doesn’t deserve it, or even cynically suggested that she finds the occasional KO a reasonable price for the fame and fortune she can access through her husband.

Certainly, there are many incidents of male – on – female violence in the story so far in the context of the Games, but fans seem to have accepted that there is nothing specifically “gendered” about, say, Thresh killing Clove, or Marvel killing Rue; it was fairly obvious that they would have handled a male tribute in the same position, no better or worse. And some fans argue that Peeta’s acted out of perceived self defense, and that this motivation is MUCH different than that of an abuser. But there’s also the take that, as JJ stated, Peeta acted out of “hijacked rage” and vengeance, not just self-defense, which comes a lot closer, uncomfortably closer, to real-life stories of spurned suitors turning violent.

IMHO, many people who commit acts of domestic violence are NOT inhuman monsters who we can safely consign to the “Other” category; Adrian Peterson seemed honestly perplexed as to why anyone would label him an abuser, and he very well might NOT have beat his son to satisfy some twisted sadistic urge; many of his defenders seem to honestly think harsh “discipline” is the only way to prevent their kids, especially in tough neighborhoods, from becoming juvenile delinquents. But then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if, say, Mrs. Mellark reacted the same way to an abuse allegation. “How dare you call me an abuser? I’m just trying to show my sons how to survive in this cold, hard world, and if I have to be a little harsh to make my point, so be it. Would you rather they get a few swats from me, or be whipped in the public square?”

So, just because Peeta is not a monster (even though he actually calls himself one), does that make his actions acceptable? I’m not talking about legal prosecution, certainly he’d likely qualify for an insanity defense. The issue is, will people who actually see visual images of him attempting to strangle Katniss to death, then later attempt to beat her head in with a rifle butt, find these actions forgiveable? Will they find the eventual Peeta-Katniss ending to be acceptable, or send some kind of dangerous message to women that “if the man in your life was mentally ill at the time he attacked you, you should forgive him, marry him, and have his kids”? Or will the casual fan conclude, “See, I told you this was just another Twilight. Why do those silly teenage girls lap up this nonsense that there’s something noble about loving a man who has insidious urges to kill you?”

And here’s another interesting example (beware, GOT S4 spoilers ahead) of fictional scenes that stir up controversy about real life issues.

Remember the tremendous controversy around a scene in GOT S4, that most show-only fans interpreted as an obvious rape? The source scene from the book, which is notably in the POV of the more sexually aggressive partner, is more ambiguous, and GRRM himself denied that he meant to write a rape scene. But one interesting fan debate that took place was this; are the showrunners at fault for misinterpreting canon and writing a rape scene without realizing it? Or, does a close reading of the original book scene, reveal that it was GRRM himself who did so, it only became apparent that he did when we actually got to SEE the scene, not just read about it?

So, I am very curious as to whether the movie WILL manage to redeem Peeta, and the P-K ship, or whether movie-only fans will wind up with a far different take on whether an Everlark ending casts a ray of hope, or just adds to the tragedy of war. I have wondered myself if Peeta and Katniss really were capable of raising well-adjusted children, or if they were doomed to repeat their respective cycles of family dysfunction. And since Peeta’s mental state certainly seems to be based in part on real PTSD sufferers, flashbacks and all, I wonder if the wider fandom wind up debating, whether SC wrote an apologia for acts of domestic violence committed by military veterans and other PTSD sufferers against their families, without realizing it.

Of course, as I have noted before, the idea that Peeta CONTINUED to be violent toward Katniss during flashbacks post-war, despite his treatment, is fanon, not canon. Also, SC never claimed that she was trying to provide her readers with models for healthy romantic relationships. But neither did GRRM, yet that didn’t quite shield him from criticism.

(And now my Who spoiler):

On the other hand, the original Dr. Who program managed to show the Doctor almost strangling a woman while in a temporarily insane state, without apparently detracting from his hero status; and that was when Dr. Who was still considered a safe kiddie show. IMHO, the Doctor post-reboot is NOT really that much darker than his pre-Time-War self, though he apparently received a testosterone infusion during his hiatus. (Okay, I finally managed to bring in some humor).

I suppose only time will tell.
Satsuma

The Yellow Flicker Beat of Lorde’s Heart

Today was the debut of the first song on the Mockingjay Part 1 companion album, “Yellow Flicker Beat.” Lorde had given some teases of the first few lines of the song, with marble princesses, scars of silver and gold, and blood made of rubies. This made some wonder if the song was about Johanna (the marble statue in the early Capitol video) or Effie with her ties to the Capitol. I was very much hoping that would not be the case. This is the first song, and presumably the first song that will play over the end credits. It needs to fit the tone of the whole movie, and needs to be about Katniss’s journey.

Well the good news is that the song is indeed inspired by Katniss’s experiences. Lorde is a big fan of the books, and in her interview with KROQ today explained how she tried to get into Katniss’s head with this song.

Basically I wrote the song specifically for the movie, it wasn’t something that I had to draft up previously. I reread the books, and I just wanted to tap into everything that Katniss is feeling in that film and what’s the crazy stuff that goes on. One of the things that happened in the book which to me felt like this crazy turning point was her best friend Peeta tries to kill her, he’s been brainwashed and tries to strangle her. It just felt like something so irreparable and something that the characters couldn’t turn back from. I felt like Katniss was like ‘okay, I’m taking names. I’m coming for blood. You don’t do these types of things to my friends and family and get away with it.’ I just wanted to make something kind of dark and haunting.

We all have different tastes in music. If you’re a fan of Lorde, you probably love “Yellow Flicker Beat” because it’s very much a Lorde song. Lorde’s voice and musical style worked for Catching Fire on the cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” It was dark and powerful and fit well with the tone of the film. I wouldn’t have liked that song to be at the end credits, but it was a fine addition to the soundtrack.

yellow flicker beatWith “Yellow Flicker Beat,” we have an original Lorde song, written about how Katniss is feeling in this movie. There’s a darkness to the song, which is appropriate, so why am I not loving this?

I think the lyrics, especially at the beginning are very out of step with Katniss. She would never describe herself on these terms. That’s why people were confused about what this song was about with those initial teases. And the buzzing uhhhhhhh running in the background is a bit distracting, unless she’s trying to hint to us that Katniss is doing some kind of mediation while hiding away from the perils in her mind. Doubt it, though. I think it’s just Lorde trying to create some layers to the song and it not working well.

If you weren’t told this was about Katniss in Mockingjay, would you make the connection? Would it make any fan-made playlists? Sure, it’s got the obligatory reference to fire, and later lyrics of “this is the start of how it all ends/they used to shout my name now they whisper it” ring true , but the marble, silver, gold, rubies, red, orange yellow flicker beat language– that’s Lorde imagery. It’s Lorde being way more expressive than Katniss would ever be about her situation. The pop beat that takes over the song halfway through makes it catchy but also distracts you from the initial seriousness of the song. Who cares about problems? Now I feel like dancin’.

Soooo, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what happens in soundtracks “inspired by” the motion picture. Lorde doesn’t have to channel Katniss 100% to do right by the song. And a song more purely staying with Katniss’s experience might be a little boring. In the KROQ interview she acknowledges the challenge of writing for soundtracks.

You can’t take that many leaps, it becomes your song and not their song so it was definitely about keeping in that mindset and just thinking about ‘What would Katniss do?

I think Lorde genuinely tried to make this a song about Katniss, but it became more a song about Lorde, and the kind of music she likes to make. And that would still be an ok thing to have on the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. People like her songs and it would help album sales. But this song is supposed to be more than that. It’s the debut single from the soundtrack, and presumably will be the first song to play during the end credits. So after we’ve ended with whatever cliffhanger Francis Lawrence decided to go with, this song is going to play. That’s what makes me nervous. I want the song to make the end that much more powerful. Without seeing the whole film, we can’t completely know how well this song works, but I’m worried.

I worry a lot though, so I’ll just add it to the long list.

JJ

 

The Hunger Games TV Series

I’m a TV lover, I also love film, I can name a smattering of favorite films more quickly than I can tell you the Hunger-Games_imagesquare root of anything, and I’ll readily admit that when I graduated with my BA in English, that I was 16 credits shy of a film studies minor (16 credits is two terms of work). So when I say I love film, I’m being honest. Over the last several years however, TV has become a staple in the few hours of downtime that are mine throughout the week. I do go see the occasional film though, but it’s not a weekly occurrence, more in part to the fact that I’m a self-proclaimed film snob, and refuse to spend my money on crap, and there’s a lot of crap out there in those cinemas. So, yep– TV, and books are my go to sources of entertainment. Over the last three years, (that’s how long I’ve been a writer for Victor’s Village), several television series have come to the forefront, they’re popular, they’re critically well received, and more than one of them is based on previously known, and beloved book series. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and just this past August Outlander has been added to the list. These series have strongly moved me, and without remorse I admit have changed my mind. I believe The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins would have made a phenomenal television series rather than a series of four feature films.

The Hunger Games on the surface is a different animal from book series like George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or a graphic novel series like The Walking Dead. The main protagonist, Katniss, is a teenage girl for one thing, but she’s not your average teenager. This is one reason I think The Hunger Games would have worked on TV. Putting aside the ever present stigma of plucking a Young Adult novel off the shelves, and attempting to adapt it into something the masses would devour off a screen. It is a tough task, but it’s not impossible. if they had attempted to make it into a television series, they could have thrown the Young Adult label out the proverbial window, and built the world of Panem into the gritty, oppressive, vast, frightening, beautiful, and fascinating place that it became when we all read about it for the first time, instead of the glimpses, and sometimes mild impressions we’ve gotten so far from the film franchise. Television affords an almost no-holds-bard playground for producers, writers, and directors, and sadly films, especially if they’re supposedly geared to a particular demographic, is kept on a tight leash so to speak. This is where I admit that I do not think that Lionsgate has gone far enough where it comes to the plot, the subject matter, or the settings of The Hunger Games series. I know why as well, it’s because they’re boxed into time constraints, budgets, and the ratings requirements. The requirements that only allow one F word to be used in a PG-13 film, and only if the word is uttered not in reference to sex– yep, those requirements.

I’m a big fan of character development, I’m also a big fan of characters from books not being cut, or combined, or simply put– if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series the following questions never would have been asked by book fans: Where’s Madge? Why is that old lady giving Katniss the Mockingjay pin? Where’s Peeta’s dad? Doesn’t Gale have like 10 immediate family members, where the hell are they? Where’s Lady? Why did they change the time line, and make Peeta and Katniss teenagers when the Burnt Bread Scene happened, aren’t there like a million child actors who could have done that for them? So, is the old lady who gave her the pin in the movie Greasy Sae, does she have a name… what’s her name!? Doesn’t Peeta have brothers? Where’s the mayor of District 12, y’know Madge’s dad? Um, Delly Cartwright, has she been cut too? What happened to those beautiful, moving scenes between Katniss and Lavinia? What the hell happened to Lavinia? And Venia, so she’s gone, did she die, she died didn’t she? Why is Effie in District 13? And my question… Where the hell are the fluffy killer squirrels? That’s right folks, if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it’s safe to say that none of the questions above would have been asked, no new characters would have been invented, no previously known characters would have merged, been cut, or truncated. Nada. The only thing that could have happily happened to all of those plot points, and characters is this– they would have been expanded, realized, and appreciated– including, god forbid, Katniss and Prim’s parents.

And this is where I admit that if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it would not be sharing the same network as shows like Modern Family, Bones, or NCIS. The Hunger Games television series would be on a network that puts out programs like Game of Thrones, Shameless, Outlander, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Knick, The Walking Dead, Rectify, and Sons of Anarchy, it would be on cable. And it would be on cable TV,

That was a fun episode

That was a fun episode

because to properly depict the horror, and the shame of having children being forced to play a game of kill or be killed, or the sexual exploitation of revered champions, forced marriages, mental breakdowns of the very un pretty kind, torture, violence, destruction, war, and revolution– you’d need a network that says “yeah, film in three countries at once!” or “Yes, you can set up a camp specifically to train day players to play walking corpses!” Or, “yes, film in Scotland, BUY ALL THE PLAID IN THE WORLD, and yes… you can totally show us that guy getting whipped nearly to death. And don’t worry your pretty little head, full frontal nudity is very OK!” And if you think that those made up statements aren’t based in reality, I assure you they are– and the shows they’re based on are all still on TV, are popular amongst viewers and critics, and are adapted from novels, and graphic novels.

Just picture it now, an entire episode dedicated to the cave sequence, instead of a few short minutes?

And scene!

Them There Eyes

More “Stills” of the District 13 Rebels

The past day and a half has revealed more stills on the Hunger Games Instagram as promised. By now, you may have realized that these “stills” are really shots of the actors in costume which are being used to populate the cast and crew section of Mockingjay Part 1 on The Hunger Games Explorer. Watch daily as that cast list gets bigger! So don’t worry, if a favorite character has not been featured yet, he or she will be in the next few days.

First we got Castor. Like Cressida, wielding a camera we assume.

castor

Then Pollux, with no camera, no gun that we can see, but an even more lovely accessory. He’s wearing a mockingjay pin! He’s one of us, guys, and we love him for it.

pollux

Today we got Boggs, looking a little scared or concerned or bewildered. Is he looking at Katniss? What is the context here? WE WANT TO KNOW.

boggs

These three “stills” reminded us that we really have no clue about how these actors are going to be playing the characters. There’s been so little footage released so far, that these characters are a mystery in terms of the movie. Will Boggs maintain an important role? We really hope so, but all we have to give us inkling is a quick shot of him and Katniss in the elevator and then again with Katniss walking by all those bombs in District 13 during the last trailer. Not much to go on.

We need the tv spots and clips and interviews to start soon. We need to see more of these guys!

JJ

The Mockingjay Revolution Will Be Televised

If you’ve learned anything from The Hunger Games fandom over the course of these movies, it’s that interactivity is KEY in making fans happy. We like new features. We like having puzzles to solve. Thankfully, we got some of that today!

Image from QuarterQuell.Org

Image from QuarterQuell.Org

It started with an update of TheCapitol.PN, specifically the first weekly update from CapitolTV.

It hints at issues The Capitol is facing in the midst of rebellion, but tries to cover them up in silky-voiced fraudulence. It gets a little redundant with the word “system” in that first line, but overall it’s super exciting. Because you know what the real issue is? Of course you do! REBEL SCUM.

Speaking of which… The new Capitol website was met by an even bigger response from District 13! Search through their hacks and you’ll find new images, character files, and several censored Capitol Concerns (or so I’m told. Something about that site makes my computer go “Oh, FUCK YOU!”) Remember when fans were asked to fill those out as Panem citizens? Well if you participated, you’re now apparently responsible for a bunch of District 7 citizens getting marched to their death:

WAY TO GO, CONCERNED PANEM CITIZENS.

While we’re okay with the shortness of the D13 propo, but is their production value so low that they could manage any sound?! No ominous music, no Peacekeepers shouting orders in the distance, no static, NOTHING?! Really kills the intensity!

But by keeping things mysterious and short, Lionsgate is setting MOCKINGJAY PART 1 up for a viral video campaign. It’s something that the franchise has never done before, but it’s been extremely successful for other films and if the continuation is done well, it could be the desperately needed perk-up this campaign needs! So if nothing else, today we got some hope.

Except For The Part Where Our Complaints Led People To Slaughter,

The Girl With The Pearl