The headline makes your heart jump “New Still of Katniss from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1″? Could it be?! Is it really here?!
Sorta. Kinda… Not really.
Yes, it is technically the first still of Katniss released by Lionsgate. But no, it’s really not new. Something very similar to the still has been all over the Internet for weeks already because it’s same scene featuring Katniss from the trailer, which has been screencapped second-by-second and passed around the fandom like candy. Screencaps are basically fandom crack.
Thanks to the article, we are noticing the little details of her look that we didn’t before: the connections to her Mockingjay look, her elbow and knee pads (probably more for Jennifer Lawrence’s benefit than Katniss’, if her claims to clumsiness are true!), etc.
And the blackened Mockingjay pin! It’s such a silly thing to zero in on, especially considering it’s almost impossible to see in the picture, but we love it. We wonder how long before those start going on sale and how many fans will go a-runnin’ to their nearest retailer to get one. Hint: Just take your gold Mockingjay pin and hit it with some shiny black spray paint, people!
We’re excited, but we’re not. Our Mockingjay is readily available in shiny photo finish, but this isn’t the glorious new shot of Katniss Everdeen for which we’d been hoping. We wanted to be wow-ed by the photo as much as we were the trailer itself. And let’s call a spade a spade– If it looks like something we just saw two weeks ago, it isn’t actually new!
In video form, this scene was tense and exciting. In photo form, it’s more of the same. Katniss looks confused and you worry for her a bit, but it doesn’t elicit the same emotion. We want an image of Katniss that really causes us to feel. The clip already dictated what we feel here. WE DEMAND NEW FEELS!
Is That Too Much?!
The Girl With The Pearl
Oh, the things we do for fandom!
Without realizing it, our love of The Hunger Games fandom has seeped us in a deep sense of ridiculous sense of paranoia about completely insignificant details and events.
For instance, The Teen Choice Awards are on right now. Deep down, we realize that the TCAs are fun, but they’re also so silly that your average teenager probably feels too mature to be watching. It’s for the “OMG OMG OMG!!!1!11!!” fangirls and frankly, we try to keep our shit together a little better than that. And yet… Guess what we’re doing right now? Watching the show and following updates!
Why? BECAUSE FANDOM, THAT’S WHY!
We can’t lie and pretend that our interests are only Hunger Games related, because we do like quite a few things that the awards show will cover (even if we can’t always stand the manner in which they cover it.) Still, we watch because fandom is a living, breathing, very in-the-moment business.
In layman’s terms: Something might happen!
A big actor moment, a hilarious Internet meme in the works, or a surprise crazy reveal of some sort. All of it would be important to the fandom in some capacity and we feel the unquenchable need to be there to witness it.
Even as a write this, I worry that something awesome will somehow happen after it’s posted. Since I started writing this, Josh Hutcherson has accepted two three awards on behalf of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, meaning he now has a bunch of cheap surfboards to put into storage until he ultimately decides to sign them and donated them to charity:
Shiny, colorful storage. Hooray! We know that’s what it is for these actors and musicians on many levels– though surely they do love and appreciate their fans, which is why they come in the first place. And because they’re there, we can’t miss it!
It’s not just us, right? Everyone kinda has this tick, right? PLEASE TELL US IT ISN’T JUST US!
We May Have A Problem,
The Girl With The Pearl
Today, Lionsgate made an announcement that actually surprised us (and not in a way that we immediately hated either, which is even more surprising!)
Yup, the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack is going to be put in the hands of a 17-year-old. A successful 17-year old who makes catchy original music (albeit a bit overplayed), but a teenager nonetheless. One that every other young adult with a moderate knowledge of music is looking at, whining “Dammit! I totally could’ve picked the songs for the soundtrack too!”
Here’s what F-Law had to say:
“I sat down with Lorde on the set of ‘Mockingjay’ this spring and I was immediately struck by how she so innately understood what we, as both fans and filmmakers, were trying to accomplish with the film. Her immense talent and keen understanding of Mockingjay’s characters and themes not only have enabled her to create a song of her own that completely captures the film’s essence, but her insight and passion for our project make her the perfect creative force to assemble the other songs on our soundtrack. I can’t wait to share what she’s done with the fans — it is truly remarkable.”
We continue to think positive because IN FRANCIS WE TRUST, but we have some questions.
Mainly, what happened to Alexandra Patsavas?! She’s the music supervisor who put together the stellar soundtrack for Catching Fire, a decent amount of other films (yes, including the Twilight saga, but the soundtracks were good!), and a lot of your formidable years if you’re in your twenties (via The OC and Grey’s Anatomy). We realize she’s involved in a lot of projects, but this one is BIG and exciting and it would have been nice to have her curating.
Secondly, how eclectic is Lorde willing to go in her “curating” choices? Her music isn’t easily categorized in one genre (alt pop? electropop?), but that doesn’t mean she won’t lean toward a certain style. There’s two ways she could go–
1) All T-Bone Burnett on us, with a very distinct sound and style based on a theme, like the first soundtrack.
2) A more rounded approach that captures multiple themes and moments, more like the second soundtrack.
Personally, we’re better fans on the second approach, but we know lots of people prefer the first. The first soundtrack outsold the second, so what do we know?
But that leads to this: Who’s doing the soundtrack for Mockingjay Part 2 and how will the two mesh? Maybe you’ll disagree, but we think that while The Hunger Games’ and Catching Fire’s soundtracks are their own entity, the two Mockingjay soundtracks should complement each other. Yes, Lionsgate and the filmmakers will try to argue it’s two very different stories even though it’s from the same book (to justify the split, of course)– the emotional story and the war story or something similar– but it’s all Mockingjay and there’s a ton of similar emotions running through the WHOLE story. We think there should be a similarity and a wholeness between Part 1 and Part 2’s soundtrack.
Now, let’s get to her actual music involved…
Are we completely, totally blown out of the water by the idea of Lorde creating a single for the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack? Not really. We imagine it’s more of a smart business decision to get a big-selling, popular name repping the soundtrack. Yes, Lorde WAS on the CF soundtrack, but she wasn’t the face of it. Coldplay was, despite the fact that their music typically appeals to a crowd much older than The Hunger Games’ demographic, and Christina Aguilera was, despite her music under-performing in recent years and her song being one of the blandest in the arrangement, to boot. On the other hand, THG went with tween favorite Taylor Swift and scored big in sales, despite many fans not loving her involvement.
So we don’t know if Lorde is the perfect choice, but all things considered, she’s probably the best artist rep so far. Let’s hope she’s good at picking out other songs with a variety of emotional meanings, too.
Betting On The Return Of T.Swift Since They’re Besties,
The Girl With The Pearl
The District 13 rebels are at it again! Yep, getting their rebellious, little mole hands on TheCapitol.PN once again, and getting the fandom all apoplectic…again. Perhaps “apoplectic” is the wrong word? Maybe concerned, or attentive, maybe excited could work in a pinch? Whatever word works best for you individually, hold fast to it and run!
This is not a new phenomena though, i.e, we’re no strangers to the fictional D13ers and co. (co being Beetee), tapping away at their advanced computer arrays, and throwing cogs into The Capitol’s watch-works. What, was it less than three weeks ago that this message went up on the site for all to see?
I think the collective reaction to that particular hack was, um… well, “yay”? What is it about the D13 rebels that gets us happy? Is it the simple, and inevitable glimpse of a propo featuring Katniss in all her Mockingjay glory? And yes, since we finally got the first official teaser trailer, we do have viewable footage of her in her Cinna designed Mockingjay uniform, but it’s kind of not the same as seeing her, say… delivering her impassioned rooftop speech directed at President Snow.
The rebels are at it again though! Making us double click, and get messages like this.
So, what’s going to be different this time guys? We’re waiting!
Them There Eyes
Today, we’re going to be positive and grateful. For what, you ask?
Though we’re still confused about why the Katniss ad for Always exists, today we will show our thanks that some other character-specific ad campaigns DON’T exist, even though they’re surprisingly more relevant to the story than tampons.
At least we’ve not yet seen…
Peeta’s Pastries - Not the fresh yum yum shop pastries at Comic-Con (even though they totally stole the Effie cupcakes design). We’re talkin’ prepackaged, dry cakes with a frosting filler served en masse! All covered in icing Mockingjays, arrows, arena obstacles, and more! Just like out of Mellark bakery (except with more sugar and artificial preservatives!)
Haymitch’s Liquor - Though we would most definitely name a little homebrew project after Haymitch, could you imagine an actual liquor brand releasing commercials with Katniss’ mentor drunkenly attesting to its level of awesome? Or creating unique labeling with Hunger Games fans in mind using Haymitch? Spit take worthy, possibly hilarious, yet sadly 100% inappropriate. But most fans are old enough to drink anyway, so why not?!
Gale’s Hunting Bows - What product does The Hunger Games show off more than anything? WEAPONS. So why not sell some badass hunting gear?! Promoted by a male character, of course, so that men don’t have to feel shame and outrage because a woman like Katniss can handle a weapon just as well as them!
Johanna’s Body Lotion - If you’re often naked or scantily clad in low cut outfits, you NEED a moisturizer that leaves your skin looking beautiful! Johanna knows the secret to soft, supple skin, even on a recently shaved head!
Finnick’s Manscaping Products - Hair gel, chest wax, self tanner, and more! Finicky probably uses it all. Now he can share his methods with the modern male population so they can ALL be studly! Or maybe just throw him into an Axe body spray campaign, because anyone who looks that good MUST smell good, despite the sweat from continuous workouts!
Aren’t you glad these things DON’T exist? Don’t you feel better?
This doesn’t make every product partnership that’s been associated with the film good (most aren’t), but sometimes we gotta be happy that there’s only one product tie-in tweet we’d categorize as utterly ridiculous.
Of course, we also want to show that specific character tie-ins are tough to pull off for this franchise. The only one we could see so far is Samsung possibly using Beetee to tie in with their technologies, but that hasn’t happened yet. Advertising can be fun, but we just gotta make sure everyone knows THERE’S A LINE!
If You Want To Sell Brands, Maybe Start With A Story That Isn’t About Poverty?
The Girl With The Pearl
In case you didn’t already know it, we’re gross. So much so that the whole advertising world is busy telling us how gross we are in an effort to help us conceal our unholy level of disgusting, because we should totally be ashamed!
These companies sell us (and in part help create) our insecurities. But don’t worry! Then they empower us! How, you ask? By making us feel insecure about having said insecurities, of course!
Thankfully, The Hunger Games isn’t like that. They may sell clothes, makeup, and nail polish that represent the selfish, ignorant elitists of the tale that should in no way be glorified. They may try to sell us elongated sandwiches full of irony to promote a film about the struggles of the starving and underprivileged. They may soften the collective fan experience by only letting people who possess certain technologies or live near certain stores get exclusive early access. But they would never exploit Katniss’ gender as a means to pander to a false empowerment campa— OH WAIT.
*blink blink* WHAT?
First off, as many fans have discussed several times over on every Hunger Games related form on the Internet– Katniss Everdeen does things LIKE A GUY. One of the most interesting thing about her is that she transcends gender stereotypes by taking on traditionally masculine roles. If anything, Peeta is the one who does things #LikeAGirl.
Don’t get us wrong– we still think Katniss has a hefty dose of femininity and is a great role model. But she can be a great role model for ANYONE, not just girls. If Katniss and Peeta’s genders were reversed, the main character would still be a great role model. To say that her accomplishments matter BECAUSE she is a woman and that she should inspire girls any more than boys is just ludicrous.
Does she get super secret strength just from having her monthly period? Is that what makes her such a great hunter, strategist, and leader? DID WE MISS THAT PART OF THE NOVELS?!
Also, this totally fails to empower us. It has the opposite effect:
- Katniss Everdeen is made of pure awesome. She fights for justice, leads a nation, and creates a new way of life for the entire populace of a struggling society.. and hey, she’s a woman!
- Well, I’m a woman and I do none of those things. Therefore, I SUCK. And don’t dare try to tell me I could sway the nation and lead a bloody human rights revolution right now, because then you’re just lying.
Then Always jumps in to really drive that point home:
We really, really hope this isn’t a long-term, ongoing partnership with this brand. It’s straight up patronizing: “Oh look, she’s a strong, heroic leader AND a woman! Let’s all stop and treat that like an anomaly!”
A major facet in Katniss’ likability factor is that she hates misleading campaigns that paint her as a false hero for the people. In a strange way, that’s what makes her a real hero.
It’s painful to equate that Katniss’ success and power to the fact that she, just like all the other women out there, survives that time of the month. In fact, it gives us cramps. Katniss never seems to get cramps. Dammit, we can’t ever measure up to this chick!
All in all, we think our friend Joan said it best when it comes to the premise of this whole campaign:
And There Goes The One Topic We Never Thought We’d Come Across Here,
The Girl With The Pearl
We’ve got BONUS guest posts for you this week! Check out another Mockingjay musing from Satsuma, who sees plenty of opportunity of historical parallels in the final two films!
Here I am, trying to make more predictions about the MJ movies. My last post dealt with their possible approach to romance. This one focuses more on the politics. Specifically, whether the movies will continue to make references to historical political events that have parallels to what happens in Panem.I say “continue to”, because both THG and CF seemed to make a directed effort to make viewers consider the parallels, in many subtle ways. Maybe it’s just me, but the “Capitol = Rome” set-up SC created seems to have actually taken a back seat, with more modern examples of tyranny and oppression being focused on more. We have the Capitol set design from THG, inspired by “brutalist” architecture used by the Nazi’s, as well as Tianamen Square; and the use of Henry River Mill village, a real life “company town” (though for a different industry than coal) for the Seam.
And while this isn’t expressly political, I was also quite struck by the Capitol equivalent of a sports book that was showcased in that movie, especially as we see gambling in all forms becoming more and more socially acceptable these days in the US, and states trying to get a cut of the action; not just the state lotteries, but, for example, how Governor Christie of New Jersey recently attempted to legalize sports gambling in his state). And while FYI I admit I never “got” the whole allure of gambling, certainly one can argue that it’s yet another way that the “powers that be” can distract citizens from more serious issues.
In CF, the D11 design actually tweaked aspects of canon, such as showing workers picking cotton instead of fruit as they did in the book, to drive the “D11 = Deep South”, not just geographically but culturally as well, to the extent of giving the Peacekeepers attack dogs that I bet Bull Connor would have loved to own. (Brief history lesson: Connor was a notorious segregationist “Commissioner of Public Safety” in Birmingham, AL, who cracked down harshly on civil rights protestors in the 1960s. I’ve even wondered if Connor’s deceptively benign job title, helped inspire the “Peacekeeper” moniker.)
And not only did CF harken back to the 1960’s, it also showed “rebellion” footage that seemed straight out of the Arab Spring. I’m sure that was no co-incidence.Especially knowing that Danny Strong wrote the first scripts, I’m sure that MJ will continue to showcase these historical and political parallels. (Note that, as has been mentioned on this blog before, “Game Change” actually has a lot of similarities to MJ even though Sarah Palin is VERY different from Katniss in many ways, both feature a female character “campaigning” for a cause and frequently “going rogue” and disregarding the scripts their handlers want them to follow.)
Note that the MJ marketing again touched on the idea of “Panem field hands = African Americans”, considering the race of the woman chosen to represent the Grain district (even though she likely hailed from the Midwest, not as strongly associated with the African American civil rights struggle as the Deep South, though certainly the North had/has its own issues with racism as well.)
Unfortunately, it’s likely too late for the MJ movies to draw the obvious parallels between the MJ rebellion and what’s happening at the Ukraine-Russia border these days, right down to innocent civilians being caught in the cross-fire, with each side pointing the finger at the other as the culprit for a wartime atrocity. Much as in MJ, I wonder if we’ll ever find out the REAL story about who shot down that airliner. (On the other hand, there’s still almost two years worth of marketing to go…)
But we know that the Iraq war helped to inspire SC to write this story, as did her father’s experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. I can certainly see, for example, a shot of rebels dragging down a statue of Snow, much as Saddam Hussein’s statue bit the dust. Or perhaps we’ll see a shot of Snow being dragged out of a bunker somewhere. And while Julianne Moore’s description of D13 seems more consistent with “Jericho” and other post-apocalyptic societies than the historical Soviet Union, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some reference to the idea of “Capitol = US, D13 = USSR”; perhaps a nod to classic Cold War era movies such as “Dr. Strangelove” (which itself based the not-so-good Doctor partly on Werner von Brown, who managed to jump from serving the Nazis in WWII to directing NASA in the 1960s; hmm, that sounds almost like what Plutarch did, actually).
Finally, the reason I titled this post “Applicability”, is that the current events in Crimea really did impress me with how applicable this series is to the Ukraine/Russia conflict, even though SC wrote the books years before this conflict flared up. In both, we have rebels who want to break away from one problematic regime, yet are backed by another regime that has many problematic aspects as well. This is one reason I think this series may remain relevant for a while, even after the last MJ movie.
Did you hear the news about SATURDAY, JULY 26TH? It’s a big, big, big day, as our Effie would say.
Catching Fire makes its world television premiere at 9pm ET on EPIX!
Ok, ok, don’t yell at me! I know it’s not THE NEWS that everyone is waiting to hear. And it doesn’t mean much if you don’t get the EPIX channel (Though there is a 14 day Free Trial).
But that’s the news we’ve got. And there are some sweet prizes available to go along with it. So if you’re sitting and stewing waiting for other news, you can check them out.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire EPIX Hawaiian Sweepstakes. You can enter once a day now through August 10th for a chance to win a trip for two to the Island of O’ahu, where they filmed a lot of the Catching Fire arena scenes. So enter, because as harrowing as the arena was, the scenery was beautiful.
There’s also a #CatchingFireOnEPIX Photo-A-Day Sweepstakes where you can compete in daily challenges on Instagram for a chance to win a $100 prize pack from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Visit EPIX on Instagram for more details.
And then, throughout the BIG DAY, July 26th, EPIX is doing trivia on its social media and EPIX.com for more prizes.
Then, to cap off the day on the 26th, EPIX is doing a double feature of The Hunger Games at 6:30pm ET followed by the Catching Fire premiere at 9pm.
Best of luck and enjoy the show.
Our latest guest post comes from the hilariously tag-named Caesar’s Scrunchy, who has a few awesome points about the relationship between Katniss and Peeta (with visuals!)
You know you’re desperate for more “Mockingjay” action when you’re willing to do a school writing assignment in the summertime, which wasn’t assigned and will never be graded! But we’ve got to do something to pass the time waiting for the next propo, right?
So I’ve done a “compare and contrast” assignment just like in school, where we take two different things – two poems, two books, two films, etc. – and see what is different and what is similar about them. These assignments aren’t always fun, but when we do them, we can learn a lot more about each one by looking more closely at them. And it can be especially fun if you compare “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” movies (because what else are we going to do
besides watch these two fave movies, amiright?!) The books have these parallels as well, but that REALLY feels like a school assignment, and doing it this way, I got to watch the movies again as “research.”
In some cases, the exact opposite from what happened in HG happened in CF (I noted those with the arrows). I used to think the first two books were a bit similar, but the more I worked on this, I appreciated how hard the filmmakers worked to give us an amazing number of little details that created great symmetry between the two movies. Or, to quote Haymitch, “Genius!” When you look at the comparisons, I hope you agree.
If you like this, feel free to watch the movies again (as if anyone needs an invitation?) and see if you can find more contrasts and comparisons. I wonder what would happen if we added Gale to the mix? Or compared Seneca Crane vs. Plutarch? Or HG Buttercup vs. CF Buttercup? J
PS – I own none of the images here, they are just for illustration purposes to show each point. AND: this is the first thing I’ve ever written for VictorsVillage.com, and I hope you like it.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: THE HUNGER GAMES AND CATCHING FIRE
THE BALANCE BETWEEN THEM
Three years ago, I started a blog to talk about this amazing book I read. You might have heard of it- it was called The Hunger Games. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, just me talking about my thoughts on things like video games and Finnick and Annie… until I wrote a post about the personal impact reading the series had on me, not only as a reader, but as a citizen of the world:
“It would be an understatement to say that I was a wreck. I like happy endings. I can deal with loss, and death, and sadness, as long as at the end good triumphs over evil. To me, no one won at the end of Mockingjay.
It felt so sad, so hopeless in those hours after I finished the book. I couldn’t let it end like that. I needed to give myself a happy ending.
The Hunger Games series is a book about many things, but for me the realistic depiction of how poverty and oppression go hand in hand was at the heart of the books. The districts were easily manipulated by the Capitol not only by a deprivation of resources, but also (and more importantly) by a deprivation of information. It is not until the Districts gain the ability to learn and communicate with one another that the Rebellion is born.
Education powers revolutions.”
I put my words into action and went to donorschoose.org. There I found a project from a teacher in New York City:
“My Students: My Latino and African-American students attend a high poverty school in New York City.
They are 13 going on 14, have a nose for injustice, and love to argue. I need The Hunger Games to give their voices a focus. After I discussed the book on the first day of school, they were hooked. They would love a chance to investigate a current social issue and try to solve it. As we will read this novel later in the year, they will also have a chance to apply their Social Studies lessons.
My Project: The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel full of social issues that the students will identify and define. For each issue, they will need to explain how external events shaped it, how it shapes a character’s choices and relationships with others, and how it inspires characters to act and change their social environments. At the end, they will choose a social issue we face (problem) and think of ways to change it (solution). The unit not only allows them to examine how literature reflects society, it helps them see the complexities of real social issues. By discussing the issues and thinking of creative solutions, they are laying the groundwork for a better future.
Unfortunately, my school does not have the money to purchase 35 books. Reading is fundamental to a good education. Please help me provide my students with the resources necessary to foster my students’ minds!”
I donated and then spammed my family and friends through social media until the project was fully funded. The teacher was thrilled, the students had access to books they were genuinely excited about reading, and I had that warm fuzzy feeling that only comes with helping someone else out… and I wanted more.
Through the support and help from Savanna and Adam of the Fireside Chat and DownWithTheCapitol, we started a small movement to fund more teachers looking to use the series in their classrooms. This was back in the early days of the fandom- the Fireside Chat was about a month old and DWTC less than a year with only a handful of other sites out there; but our small band of rebels was still able to help two classrooms get the books they needed.
Fast forward to now: the Hunger Games is a global phenomenon: there are dozens (if not hundreds of fan sites); the Fireside Chat logged 130 episodes, and there are almost 20,000,000 fans on The Hunger Games’ official Facebook page. I’d say it’s time to try this literacy revolution over again.
Let’s get Books For Tributes.
My goal is to fund teachers across the country looking to put The Hunger Games in their classrooms and libraries using donorschoose.org.
As of today, I have 45 projects queued up on this donorschoose campaign page, and every. single. one. of them is looking to place our favorite book series into the hands of kids across the US.
So, let’s do it.
Let’s stand with the Mockingjay and start a Literacy Revolution. Our goal is simple. As Hunger Games fans who believe in equity and empowerment, we will work to fund as many as possible of the requests for Hunger Games books posted on donorschoose.org.
We’ll take it one class at a time—just as Katniss and the Rebels worked District by District to overthrow the Capitol. Give as much or as little as you like, as often as you wish. When we fully fund a project, I’ll let you know on the Books For Tributes twitter and Facebook pages.
When you donate please place the following somewhere in your personal message:
“I gave to this project because I’m with the Mockingjay, and support a literacy revolution in American classrooms. #books4tributes”
When you tweet about donating please use #books4tributes
Let’s set a goal to fund these 45 projects before Mockingjay hits theaters this fall, so that when we see Katniss on screen, fighting the Capitol, we can know that we’ve done our part to fuel our own revolution in Panem.
Fire is catching, and we are the spark. And if we put our hearts and minds behind this effort, the Capitol doesn’t stand a chance.
*three finger salute*