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Some Mockingjay Ideas for the Soul

Let’s be honest again, ’cause it’s kind of a forte here anyway– we really need some freakin’ Mockingjay: Part 1 news! And I don’t mean a blurb in some entertainment news publication that’s a reiteration of information we got snip-its of several months ago. Nope, we need honest to god NEWS. In a better world, in other words in a world where as a collective fandom we had the power to convince a major motion picture studio to release such wonderous news-y bits, I think we’d have them by now. Alas we do not have that power despite the size of our collective community. Until such news-y bits are released however, bear with me for a time or two, and well– let me spin a yarn on what this particular non-professional-semi-marketing-savvy fandom member wishes were some of the bits to be released, well– yesterday. And by “particular fandom member”, eh-hem– I MEAN ME

Use the propos: It’s already built into the canon of the series, and it’s– to be sort of blunt, an already solid, and climatically perfect feature. In my mind’s eye, which is kind of a visual place to begin with as a photographer, the propos Suzanne Collins envisioned in her book work on many, many levels. They’re transformative, they’re a call to arms, they’re a rallying cry to the little people, and they’re visually stunning. I can see it now, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen standing on that roof top, a smoking and burning cityscape behind her, her face set in look of anger, fortitude, and conviction, speaking words that come from her inner most gutteral instincts– throwing down the gauntlet on President Snow, and transforming for the first time under her own terms, into the Mockingjay. Or, things could go another direction: The first attempt at a propos with Katniss was a monumental failure. I’m sure you all remember the tumblr_mla1llMN2R1qb8lw8o1_500telling line that Haymitch uttered, his first in the entire novel of Mockingjay, “And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies.” However, from a cinematic POV that propo could very well work. It’s got the swirling flames, the Capitol look, the lines– however stiffly delivered, but if you saw that on TV, or at least clips of it artfully cut together, I think it would work as a more than decent facet of a viral marketing campaign.

Other propos, or bursts that get pushed past the Capitol’s firewalls, in my head can all become major aspects of the upcoming advertizing campaigns that will eventually make their way to us. I can see it unfolding, flashes of wartime news footage, footage that looks like it could have been taken at any time during our own world’s most recent political, and wartime events– only this footage will feature burning Capitol flags, and Peacekeepers in their white, exoskeleton riot gear, pushing, and beating District citizens down, and out-of-the-way. Of course this could all be intermixed with scenes of Katniss in the bowels of District 13 curled into a ball with boxes of school supplies behind her, and smash cutting from her mind’s eye to the last time she saw Peeta, to another smash cut of what she imagines is happening to Peeta in the Capitol. It could prove to be a visually stunning, and visceral experience– which is kind of what we want, hm? No more games, no more pretty about it, just raw, unadulterated PTSD, grey clothes, and snap-shots of a mind that’s not quite on an even keel.

It won’t happen this way of course, but a True Detective loving girl can dream– right?

Them There Eyes

About these ads

Katniss Everdeen is Our Hero (Whatever, MTV)

The Magical Internet Pony has let us down. Well, not really, but it has stung us a little. The MTV Movie Awards nominations were announced a few days ago, and Catching Fire got a bunch of them. Best movie, Best Female Performance (Jen, duh), Best Male Performance (Josh), Best Fight (Jen/Josh/Sam vs. the monkey mutts), Best Shirtless Scene (Go Sam! No need to be self-conscious), Best On Screen Transformation (Elizabeth Banks), and Best Villain (Donald Sutherland). Very impressive. And a nice job of spreading out of the love to several actors.

However, Catching Fire was not included in two categories that had fans crying foul. Best Hero and Best Kiss. I agree that there is a tremendous case for CF to be nominated in these two categories as well, but I’d guess that it was left out as a way to include other movies in the show. You nominate more movies, you have a better shot of having more actors come, more movie fans are inclined to watch and you make more movie studios happy. If Catching Fire and Jennifer Lawrence won everything, it might be a bit too much for some people. Not me, but I could see it annoying other people.

Katniss gets included twice in the Oscars Hero Montage. MTV just has different standards?

Looking at some of the nominees in those two categories irritates me though. Channing Tatum, you are adorable and lovely and quite the strong buff guy. But MTV, are you seriously telling me that his role in White House Down deserves a Best Hero nod over Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire? No. The only reason he’s nominated is they want to include him in the broadcast for a reason other than just promoting 22 Jump Street. The other noms are Marvel/DC superheroes and Bilbo Baggins. Fine, I can understand you picking superheroes and another beloved literary figure. But you leave out Katniss Freaking Everdeen when Catching Fire was the number one domestic release of 2013 MTV? Tsk, tsk. That is one big miss, and it kind of stinks of sexism, which makes it even more uncomfortable.

For what it’s worth, some fans have channeled their outrage into online petitions. The Best Hero one already has over 11,000 signatures and I even saw E! News posting on it today. I mean, I don’t know what would possibly come of it, but it makes me smile to see fans support Katniss. It’s nice.

Your love is beautiful and it's probably best that The Capitol (er MTV) doesn't sully it further.

Your love is beautiful and it’s probably best that The Capitol (er MTV) doesn’t sully it further anyway.

[I don’t even want to dwell the Best Kiss category because we all know it’s a travesty that the beach kiss was not included. Completely ridiculous oversight made for some of the reasons mentioned above. It makes me angry. And then I get angry at myself for being mad about a silly MTV awards show. It’s a cycle of just bad feelings so I must stop.]

Yes, I’m very annoyed at myself for even writing this post because really, the true value of the MTV Movie Awards for Hunger Games fans is that last year it gave us the Catching Fire teaser trailer premiere. And maybe this year, it will give us something else (purely rumor at this stage). I can’t say I enjoy watching the rest of the show. So why am I wasting my life writing about this. Damn you, MTV and your Movie Brawls, Movie Awards, etc. Just. Ugh.

After all this MTV, I hope for your sake that Lionsgate is hooking you up with something Mockingjay-related to make us forget.

Katniss and Peeta On Ice

We’ve already discussed a handful of ways The Hunger Games and The Olympics aren’t all the different. But there’s one other comparison we’ve noticed that has blossomed into a very Hunger Games-like situation. America’s own Katniss and Peeta (Hunger Games, early Catching Fire), if you will!

We're more interested in how he keeps his hair so bouncy!

We’re more interested in how he keeps his hair so bouncy!

Maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention four years ago, but this time around, ice dancing team Meryl Davis + Charlie White = America’s sweethearts LIKE WHOA. Besides the fact that they both look like Disney characters and seem to defy the laws of gravity on ice, there’s one really obvious thing about them: A bazillion total strangers ship them. HARD.

There’s a fine line when it comes to shipping real people. We tend to go against it, unless the people are definitely in a relationship already. Meryl and Charlie are not. And yet, it still feels a bit like the star-crossed lovers from District 12.

These two have known each other since childhood and obviously care about each other deeply. However, it’s probably very platonic, like siblings. But the media (mainly US Olympics broadcaster NBC) glorifies it. They never call it a love story, but audiences will only listen to two attractive people being interviewed about how amazing and special they think the other is before implications settle in.

Aaaaand real world!

Aaaaand real world!

Then there’s Charlie White’s actual relationship. Interviewers do ask about his model/ former ice skater girlfriend, but Charlie is quickly to brush them off and talk about how his relationship with Meryl is all that matters right now. He’s also said that it’s okay that people assume he and Meryl are dating, as they often try to portray people in love. We’re not sure that he’s trying to promote the idea that he and Meryl are together. He probably just wants to keep his private relationships private, but quotes like that sure do fan the shipper fire.

We know exactly where Meryl and Charlie stand (at the top of the podium! BOOM!), but it still doesn’t feel all that different than Katniss and Peeta being paraded around, trying to show their country’s citizens how good they are together and impress sponsors. Katniss feeling like she has to play down her life with Gale during the Victory Tour feel familiar? There’s no survival or political forces at sake, but the analyzing, attention, and shipping? Totally there!

Is it a little weird? For sure! We’re talking about real people and real media manipulation. But if this ain’t the real world spilling over into Suzanne Collins’ world, we don’t know what is!

Officially Filed Under “Comparisons We Can’t Stop Making” And Let Go,

The Girl With The Pearl

Deliberating Catching Fire’s Deleted Scenes

We’re anticipating lots from the Catching Fire DVD, but we know we aren’t going to get everything. Even in the Special Editions!

Included, to clear up those inappropriate touching rumors!

Included, to clear up those inappropriate touching rumors!

Oh no! We won’t see all the good until well after Mockingjay Part 2 hits DVD when Lionsgate decides to release THE HUNGER GAMES FULL SERIES SPECIAL DIAMOND MAC DADDY EDITION.

We predict that will be the actual name, btw.

But in the meantime, Lionsgate is throwing us a bone by including SOME deleted scenes in DVDs on March 7th. Let’s take a look at those (thanks to Panem Propaganda):

THE HOB – SCENE 8 (00:21) – A short scene with Gale and Katniss at The Hob.

TRAIN STATION – SCENE 62 (00:23)
– Katniss comes back from the victory tour and tells Prim and her mother they need to leave District 12.

A WRINKLE – SCENE 81 (01:42)
President Snow talks to Plutarch Heavensbee about Jabberjays. Extended scene.

SWITCHING ENVELOPES – SCENE 84 (01:04) Plutarch Heavensbee switches Quarter Quell envelopes and destroys the original envelope.

FINNICK TIES THE KNOT – SCENE 119 (00:56) Finnick Odair teaches Katniss to tie knots in the training center.

But you showed us this too! WEEKS before the movie release!

But you showed us this too! WEEKS before the movie release!

You mean we finally get to see the knot tying scene that everyone who hasn’t read the books flipped out about?! It was one of the first stills we got, and it DOES look like Finnick is trying to get all up in Katniss’ training suit. We’re speculating, but all the movie only fans going “OMG THERE BETTER NOT BE THIS SLEAZY GUY AND SOME FREAKY LOVE POLYGON GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE” might have had something to do with the scene being cut. Finnick is supposed to be intensely likable! Still, a look at Finnick oozing bravado now that everyone knows about his soft candy center is much appreciated.

Snow and Plutarch scenes are the longest, but what else would you expect? Their characters were tasked with most of the back story and political tension in Catching Fire. Oh, and it’s DONALD SUTHERLAND and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (who will be bittersweet to watch, but we’re glad it’s there). We imagine Francis had to find the balance between displaying the powers that be and turning half of CF into The Snow and Heavensbee Hour.

You gave us flase hope that we could glimpse at this!

You gave us false hope that we could glimpse at this!

The other two scenes in District 12 are essentially cutaway scenes that likely weren’t deemed necessary.

BUT…BUT… BUT BUT… What about all the other stuff we saw? What about the scenes Lionsgate showed us and Francis talked about?

What about Peeta painting with the morphling?! Or Plutarch and Haymitch in slightly comical outfits together?! Or the pocket watch take of Plutarch’s introduction that was filmed but wasn’t used? Again, we understand that some things must be saved for the SUPER FLY LIMITED EDITION, but does it have to be the stuff that’s already been seen, discussed, and (perhaps unintentionally) teased? We knoooooooow they’re around somewhere! Will we somehow get a peak in the next two years?!

Lionsgate, we know you can make it happen! Because you love us. And because we’ve made you lots of money. And we’ll probably still buy your COLLECTORS KILLER MINT EDITION, anyway.

Oh-So-Many DVD Editions!
The Girl With The Pearl

Suzanne Collins, We’re Going Down With Your ‘Ship

Thank you for being you, Suzanne Collins! For writing The Hunger Games series, of course, but also for allowing it to be loved for what it is.

Yes, we’ve talked about how we wished you were more actively involved in the fandom and that still stands. But at the same time, your lack of chatter regarding the series helps maintain the mystery and the purity and just recently, we’ve realized just how much we appreciate that!

Still my OTP 4eva! NO! 5eva!

Still my OTP 4eva! NO! 5eva!

As you’ve probably heard, JK Rowling recently put the Harry Potter fandom in an absolute tizzy when she recently described Ron and Hermione, one of the most popular relationships in literature, as “wish fulfillment” and a stubborn choice to stick to her original plans for the series even though it was “not for reasons of credibility”. It doesn’t help that these quotes have been sensationalized by media sources saying she regrets writing the relationship and that Hermione should have ended up with Harry (which would directly contradict many of her earlier interviews and was actually implied by Emma Watson, not JKR, during the interview in question.) Unfortunately, it was super easy for the media to imply all these things because JKR sliced that can of worms wide open, seven freaking years after the end of the series. Fans who understand exactly why Ron and Hermione worked as a couple (like us!) are outraged and Harry/Hermione shippers, would Jo once playful agreed were delusional for ignoring “anvil-sized hints” to the contrary, are simultaneously rejoicing and demanding an apology. Despite the full interview explaining the situation with a little more depth to show JKR is not anti-R/Hr and the fact that none if this changes the ending to the Harry Potter books or movies, the whole fandom is a complete clusterfuck.

Now imagine if Suzanne Collins did something similar? What if several years from now, she tells the media that in hindsight, Katniss probably should have ended up with Gale. Because they came from the same type of background and they presented each other with fewer challenges to see the world differently than they already did. That it just would have made more sense if she stuck with the totally stagnant cliche in which the hero falls for their best friend, suggesting that was the more credible option than what her intuition originally convinced her to write.

True of 99% of All Canon Ships

True of 99% of All Canon Ships

We’re pretty sure we’d rip all our hair out.

Relationships are not the only thing this could happen with, of course. New details on Panem’s infrastructure? The actual names of Katniss and Peeta’s children? Suzanne’s doubts about killing so-and-so or the severity of so-and-so’s attitude in Chapter X? Even these minor things would drive this fandom crazy!

Do we want to know every single detail, even the ones we don’t need? Sure! Do we need them? Prooooobably not! Sometimes it is better to wonder than hear all the answers and revelations, because as JK Rowling has proven– all the answers and the revelations can certainly take away from the magic and the mystery.

Live and let live (in a fictional plane of existence as originally concluded at the end of the final book.)

The Rest Is Up To Fan Fiction,
The Girl With The Pearl

Violence In Film

Harvey Weinstein wants to distance himself from the über violence he’s been producing, and Schilling for the last decade plus. As a Hunger Games themed blog I have to put my two cents in about this, because while Harvey has been producing, and promoting some of the most violent, and the most highly praised films of the last several years– he’s also totes BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence, AKA our Katniss Everdeen the Heroin of one of the most violently themed series’ to come out in eons.

Weinstein did not produce nor does he have a hand in any of the future Hunger Games films, but since he’s pretty much the Dogs Tuxedo in Hollywoodland, and has spent time braiding Jen’s hair, and talking about boys over pizza, and in their jammies– I’d say his new stance may have after effects on the way Mockingjay is received. Or, okay… probably not at all.

BFFs!

BFFs!

The way I see it is this, The Hunger Games series, either in book form, or film form in comparison to the extremely violent fare that’s been pummeled on our heads for the last few years, it’s um– kind of tame. Okay, the films so far are anyway, but the books, especially Mockingjay are full on bang, bang, shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up– good damn times. For instance pretty much everything that takes place outside of District 13, minus Peeta losing it and showing his brand new shiny shiny colors, is non-violent where it comes to the confrontational kind– i.e in your face. But then there’s basically a free for all where it comes to vomit inducing violence, so vomit inducing in fact that Katniss herself can’t hold in her cookies and throws up all over her bodyguard, who later in the story gets his legs blown off in a blaze of bloody glory— outside of District 13.

I’m frankly a bit confused by Weinstein’s brand new stance, especially since he’s made his bread and butter, and more butter off of some of the most violent films to date. Including Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastards, which you don’t even have to open your eyes to see the violence, the sound affects alone tell you some pretty horrible shit is going down. Which brings me back to Mockingjay, there’s not a lot that they’re going to be able to get away with where it comes to violence, especially since it will absolutely be rated PG-13 here in the USA. I even know for a fact that with Catching Fire some of the more extensively violent scenes, i.e. the Bloodbath in the arena were shot, but ended up being cut either to appease the ratings boards, or for time. Here’s the question though– do we want the films to be as violent as they could be, do we want them to be Django level gruesome– are we desensitized enough like the Capitol citizens we’re repeatedly told we’re on the way to becoming, to take in Jena Malone being water boarded, or seeing a man in his prime getting his legs blown off, or seeing Sam Claflin ripped to shreds by a pack of genetically engineered monsters? 

I have no bloody clue, but Weinstein’s new POV isn’t going to change much for me.

Them There Eyes

Crazy Kat

I learned a few things last week. One of them is that Producer Nina Jacobson is on Twitter. And she tweeted a couple things about Mockingjay! Rejoice, Mockingjay news deprived fans!

Well, one of the things she tweeted (in reply to a fan) was that there would be no Mockingjay reveals “for a little while.”

I’ll let you all interpret how many weeks “a little while” means.  I’m hoping it’s less than the fingers in a three finger salute, but I’m always greedy for news.  Let’s move on to the more fun detail she revealed… the Crazy Cat Scene!

Now, we know Nina Jacobson is a Buttercup fan. She and Suzanne Collins pushed for a recasting of the cat in Catching Fire to a more canon-compliant color, after all. So it’s very appropriate that she would choose to reveal this bit of filming.

What’s the relevance of the Crazy Cat Scene? Well, it takes place while District 13 is being attacked and everyone is hunkered down waiting things out.  Katniss tells us,

I created this by accident a few years ago, during a winter blackout. You simple wiggle a flashlight beam around on the floor, and Buttercup tries to catch it. I’m petty enough to enjoy it because I think it makes him look stupid. Inexplicably, everyone here thinks he’s clever and delightful.

Oh Katniss, your disdain for that cat will never stop amusing me. But other than some cute comic relief, why would this scene make it to the film? Because of the connection Katniss makes between this game and her situation with Snow and Peeta. She continues,

Crazy Cat becomes a metaphor for my situation. I am Buttercup. Peeta, the thing I want so badly to secure, is the light… [T]he one thing that sends Buttercup into a tailspin is when I leave the light on but put it hopelessly out of his reach, high on the wall, beyond even his jumping skills. He paces below the wall, wails, and can’t be comforted or distracted. He’s useless until I shut the light off. (That’s what Snow is trying to do to me now, only I don’t know what form his game takes.)

Maybe this realization on my part is all Snow needs. Thinking that Peeta was in his possession and being tortured for the rebel information was bad. But thinking that he’s being tortured specifically to incapacitate me is unendurable. And it’s under the weight of this revelation that I truly begin to break.

This is all Katniss’s internal monologue, so I’m curious as to how they will adapt it to the screen. My first thought is that it would be a discussion with Haymitch, or maybe Prim since we know she would be there for the game. I hope it’s Haymitch though, because it seems more in line with his mentor role. Or maybe it’s just a scene with Katniss and Buttercup alone, with Katniss muttering this to him. It would be a nice mirroring of her yelling at the cat upon her return to District 12 at the end of Mockingjay (if they decide to keep that in of course).

Such fun things to speculate about.

Here’s hoping Nina gives us a few more of these teases in the future!

JJ

Holiday Card Contest Winner, Plus District Photo Contest Voting!

The holidays have come and gone but we’re still getting our party on over at Victor’s Village!

Let’s start by thanking you all for getting the Victor’s Village Facebook page to 1,000 likes! Much love to you all and be sure to keep spreading the word!

Now let’s talk WINNERS. Actual ones and perspective ones!

Congratulations to Kira! She won our holiday card contest with this hilarious Christmas greeting from President Snow:

quietsnow

Kira has won a Catching Fire Fan Camp poster signed by Willow Shields, a Mellark Bakery poster from Blueleaf Creative, and a copy of THE PANEM COMPANION by V. Arrow!

As promised, readers will be choosing the winner of our District Photo contest! Check out your options and pick your favorite on the poll below. The winner will receive a Catching Fire Fan Camp poster signed by Francis Lawrence, a Hob poster from Blueleaf Creative, and a Mellark Bakery apron from Studio Vim!

District 8 – Entry 1
IMG_20131224_162632_805

District 8 – Entry 2
IMG_20131224_162457_496

District 12 – Entry 1
DSC_0863

District 12 – Entry 2
DSC_0878

District 12 – Entry 3
DSC_0884

The poll closes Tuesday, December 31st at 11:59pm, so get your votes in quick!

The True Influence of Katniss Everdeen

It’s almost the end of the year! You know what that means… Everyone recapping the year all over the place! Yaaaay! (We’d mock them, but we’ll probably end up doing it too.) Among the recaps so far was TIME’s Most Influential Characters of 2013, which featured the one and only Katniss Everdeen. We’d be excited, but we now realize that we’ve grievously misunderstood this character after seeing what TIME had to say:

The REAL Girl on Fire (Sales)

The REAL Girl on Fire (Sales)

Beyond leading Catching Fire to a gross of $600 million—and counting—the Hunger Games heroine (played by Jennifer Lawrence) is also inspiring several real-world product lines. Among them: the Nerf Rebelle line of guns, quivers and crossbows for girls, Lucas Hugh “Capitol Label” workout clothes, and a makeup line from CoverGirl.

So Katniss Everdeen was influential because Catching Fire made a lot of money and there were a bunch of product lines, most of which were knockoff gimmicks, based on bits of her story? Well, we’ve been wrong all along! See, we thought Katniss Everdeen influenced more than a few shiny new products and a few bucks. Things like literacy, political awareness and advocacy, feminine empowerment, and views on war and violence. Silly us! Jessie J was wrong. It’s all about the price tag!

Just what Katniss was going for, guys!

Just what Katniss was going for, guys!

While she isn’t totally unique, Katniss is pretty special to be considered for her monetary value instead of her many contributions to the way fans think about the world. Most of the characters featured were called out on their ability to make fans think progressively and work to affect change– even the animated dog from Family Guy! But Katniss is way too cool to be recognized for that junk. No matter if her story DOES motivate fans to get involved with charities and community work as well as increase awareness of social issues. Ideals don’t pay the bills!

Personally, we plan to run out and purchase a Nerf Rebelle to atone for our poor judgement. We hope you find your own way to feed the really-not-even-fully-Katniss-related money machine.

If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be So!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Gifts of Catching Fire Christmas

Did you know you can reserve Catching Fire on DVD right now, while it’s still in theaters?

While attempting to finish Christmas shopping, my local “doomed to close because we mostly sell current music” store asked me if I want to reserve my copy now. I don’t think the cashier was ready for my truth bomb about how you can’t just reserve any old version of the DVD when there will be so many editions to choose from. Buuuut anyway…

Between gift buying and Catching Fire talk, we got to thinking about what the best gifts would be for these characters after Catching Fire ended. Thinking forward to Mockingjay, there are a few things to come to mind!

Yeah teenage angst!

Yeah teenage angst!

Katniss Everdeen – A Really Snazzy Diary, Perhaps with a Shiny Little Mockingjay Design on It, and a Punching Bag
We know nothing about dealing with the complexities of PTSD. But we DO know a few good things to help a 16-year-old girl to throw down some feels!

Gale Hawthorne – P90X
Because model soldiers aren’t built overnight, you know! Try 90 days!

Haymitch Abernathy – Pure, unfiltered alcohol followed by a metric ton of coffee
Time for Haymitch to figure out the alcohol to coffee ratio that makes him useful without making him mean!

Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason – Three paper clips, a pen, duct tape, air freshener and every episode of MacGyver (and a TV/DVD Player combo, obviously)
The ultimate escape plan! They can then decide if they want to share with Enobaria.

He manages his way out of EVERYTHING!

He manages his way out of EVERYTHING!

Alma Coin – A ridiculously big, fluffy stuffed animal
This lady needs someone to hug! And there don’t seem to be too many willing human participants sooooo….

Prim Everdeen – Percy Jackson books, a bag of sweets, and an iPod filled with pop tunes
We tend to forget she’s only 13. We want her to get to BE 13!

Buttercup – Catnip
That cat just went on a journey that even the entrails Katniss sometimes feeds him can’t make up for!

Boggs – A Heavy Duty Poncho Fashioned for Combat
Boggs goes through a lot, but we thought we’d do him a small favor by helping him avoid that moment when Katniss pukes all over him.

Get Your Holiday Cheer On, Y’all!
The Girl With The Pearl

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