We reviewed The Murder Complex on Tuesday, a book which features a rough n’ tough heroine, Meadow. Why is Meadow is so gritty, you ask? Because she was raised and nurtured through her rough dystopian world by a hunting, scavenging survivalist dad. She’s a little less emotional and a little more tactical than Katniss, but maybe that one difference in upbringing is ALL the difference.
Katniss’ dad is also the survivalist type. He doesn’t seem as ruthless as Meadow’s dad, but he taught Katniss quite a few tricks of the trade by a young age: hunting, skinning, and cooking animals, for one. She’s also got some better-than-average physical skills, some of which saved her in the arena later on, and she knows her way around a bow and arrow. Even though it was not her father’s intention to have Katniss kill people, her weapons training gave her the ability to do so. He also planted the first seeds of rebellion in her mind with his lessons in morality and old folk songs that went directly against the regime under which they lived.
Katniss absorbed all this and it transformed her life in major ways, all before he died when she was 11. Which makes us wonder: In a world where Mr. Everdeen had lived, would we be seeing a much less reluctant, much more rough n tough Katniss?
We’re not saying she’d be a super soldier or anything, because nothing in the story indicates that her father wanted her to be one. But it seems Mr. Everdeen had a lot of political ideals and perhaps special training (because how did HE know how to do all the things he taught Katniss?) that he didn’t pass down quite yet because her daughters were still young. Children mature exponentially between the ages of 11 and 16, so it’s likely Mr. Everdeen would have more obviously worked to instill any ideas about the issues in Panem’s government and perhaps even revolution once he felt Katniss was old enough to really confide in.
To dig into this even more, what if the roles were reversed and Mr. Everdeen was the single parent after some horrible twist of fate claimed the life of his wife? The flashback in which Mrs. Everdeen nearly has a heart attack after she hears the girls singing ‘The Hanging Tree’ shows that she played an integral role keeping the childrens’ exposure to anti-Panem messaging low. Without that filter, would Katniss have a more vocal, less reluctant opinion about overthrowing the government? Would she have the same zeal as Gale? It seemed Katniss’ father was a subtle, quiet type, but we only see him through the memories of an unreliable narrator: A teenage girl who thinks back on her deceased father as an almost faultless being.
It’s funny how a detail or two can change a whole story. We have no proof, of course, but if some of the most formative years of Katniss Everdeen’s life were left in the hands of her father instead of her mother, our Mockingjay would be completely different!
Oh Hai, Father’s Day Is Right Around The Corner!
The Girl With The Pearl
We’ve pointed out a lot of incidents of “life imitating art” over the years. Cases in which things remained us of something for The Hunger Games universe. But now, The Hunger Games has become a legitimate part of a political movement.
On May 22, a coup upheaved the government in Thailand, with the Thai army replacing the democratically elected leadership. While the coup was not the gory, violent kind, it still wasn’t welcomed by much of the nation, particularly among younger generations. Yup, the same generations that have taken the political messages of books like The Hunger Games under their wing.
As a sign of their discontent, some protestors began to hold up District 12′s three finger salute. Though symbol was derived from fiction, the Thai army caught on to the fact that the three-finger salute was essentially the people’s veiled one finger salute. They banned it from being used by five people or more in the same space because that would be considered a group protest. Any group using the symbol will be arrested. Of course, this only made the gesture spread around the nation like wildfire through the entire population.
Protest leaders have encouraged everyone to throw up the threefinger salute at least three times in a public place daily. The Internet is flooded with photos of small groups of hidden faces holding up the symbol. The protestors have labeled the three fingers in a new graphic:
1. No Coup
While it’s not exactly what the sign means in the books, it all boils down to the same thing: A sign of respect of things that have been lost. In this case, the government of the people. It’s actually quite beautiful to see a popular fiction reference being used to bring people together in a peaceful protest (though hopefully it stays that way). Now it’s more than an idea from a book series. It’s history.
Now Let’s See If It’s Used In Mockingjay…
The Girl With The Pearl
A tragedy occurred last Friday in Santa Barbara, CA. And per usual, rather than turning this into an opportunity to have a national discussion about issues like caring for the mentally disturbed and gun control (especially in this case, where the gunman, Elliot Rodger, has a known history of mental illness stretching back to his childhood, yet still had no trouble registering three guns), the media looks for someone to blame.
Conveniently enough for the media, Elliott Rodger is the son of the one of the second unit directors on The Hunger Games, Peter Rodger. So instead of even attempting intellectual analysis, we get this:
Blaming Hollywood, particularly movies that feature any sort of violence, is the oldest trick in the book. In this case, it meshes so well with the “Blame the parents! He must have been raised wrong!” excuse that everyone goes to as a secondary means of blame (not to say there’s never any legitimacy in that argument, but we don’t know details here) that the sensationalist math was just too easy to compute: If the father played a part in creating a movie that contains violence, that MUST have played a part in making the son violent!
Never mind that The Hunger Games series intends to show the terrifying, raw wrongness of such violence and its general acceptance in society. Never mind that Elliott probably wouldn’t be the type to support a strong female heroine fending for herself and eventually overpowering an oppressive male figure, given the disturbing, misogynistic manifesto he’d been writing for the past three years and the video explaining his plans for revenge against women. He certainly didn’t take in the message of doing everything you can to protect the ones you love, as his loved ones will now be shamed and broken for the rest of their lives because of his purely selfish actions.
So is the media really going to argue that he missed everything else that the film was about and went straight to the killing part? REALLY?!
Also, we’re not film experts, but we’re pretty sure the 2nd unit directors take care of all the cutaways and scenic or stunt shots that don’t involve the core cast. The principal cast did almost all their own stunt work in the first film, so that would’ve been handled by Gary Ross. The only time something violent occurs in a “second unit” setting is the District 11 riot, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh, not Peter Rodger. So the father in question was responsible for approximately zero percent of the violence relayed on screen.
Of course, The Hunger Games isn’t the whole brunt of the media blame game. Hollywood in general has been picked at a lot here. The Washington Post went so far as to blame Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow for starring in/creating movies in which a socially awkward, “shlubby” underdog manages to enter or maintain a relationship with a hot female because it promotes wish fulfillment and entitlement. Personally, we’re calling bullshit on this too. Anyone with a steady head on their shoulders understands that romantic comedies or dramadies, in fact movies in general, are not the stuff by which real life is measured and does not represent everyday interactions. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this probably has what Elliott Rodger did— more profound mental issues that need to be addressed. Of course, nobody will simply consider mental illness because, as Judd Apatow pointed out, that doesn’t sell papers. (The irony being that the attention that one gets from from the media after attempting or committing a killing spree helps perpetuate the cycle of violence. A fact forever lost on the media.)
Let’s Stop With The “Bad Influences” Blame Game,
The Girl With The Pearl
Mockingjay: Part 2 filming is drawing to a close, and X-Men: Days of Future Past was released in theaters in the US yesterday. This means one thing to the Interwebz! Tons of Jennifer Lawrence appearances on the talk show circuit, and yep pesky paparazzi shots of her milling around Berlin, the last location allegedly being used on Mockingjay: Part 2 film shoot. I say “allegedly”, ’cause I’m not the location scout, and for all we know, or I know, they’re off to Belgium to film, and drink awesome, tasty, delicious beer!
I’m sure you’ve heard, or seen, or perhaps done your best to ignore the press of Jennifer Lawrence repeated
chatter over the last several days. I know I would be one of those people however! So, yeah… Gotta admit that this particular editorial writer has very little to say about Jen’s mounting social faux pas, i.e I saw a blip about a rape joke she made, then immediately knew to turn and virtually walk away. Erm why? Because I wasn’t in the room the so-called joke was let loose in, and I’d rather not examine a joke or whatever the hell happened, as a second or third, or billionth party, because in my humble experience it would be like playing the worst game of Telephone ever. Or make me dislike her, which is something I’m not ready for yet, thank you very much!
Anyway, if you’re like me and like to do your best not to care that Jen is sometimes not a role model, and is just a 23 year-old girl! I suggest relishing in going to see X-Men, or… Yeah, maybe not.
Happy Memorial Day!
Them There Eyes
Working on a fandom site: It’s more complicated than that ol’ Facebook relationship status.
Fansite folk are lucky beyond belief for all the recognition and opportunities we’ve been given, but things often get tricky behind the scenes. Though it’s usually friendly competition between fansites, that’s not always the case. There’s pressure to outdo someone else: To post first, to have the coolest design, to get the exclusive, to be the most interesting, etc. Internally, there’s the never-ending matter of who does the work vs. who takes credit for the work. You question who’s in it for the love of Fandom X and who’s in it for the perks and acknowledgements.
Thankfully, most of these are not Victor’s Village problems given our editorial nature (though damn does our layout need an update!) Personally, I work and have worked on other sites where these problems definitely crop up.
All of this, we hide from the audience as much as humanly possible. Why? Because nobody wants to be THAT GUY. Whatever problems we have, we’re usually level-headed enough to recognize that it’s not about us, so we don’t make it public knowledge. It’s about creating an exciting environment to enjoy something we love tremendously and just want to talk about non-stop! And oh, do we talk…
Recently, you’ve probably noticed people airing out their dirty fansite laundry. Sometimes it’s been in the form of confrontation, other times reaction. And whenever we see it, we absolutely cringe. It all goes back to production vs ownership. Fansites are not a contractual entity, so if you create and curate on your own sections of the content, aren’t they yours?
Look, maybe we’re the new age hipster mom and pop shop taking about corporate establishments here, but it comes down to morals. If Them There Eyes or JJ decided left Victor’s Village under any circumstance, their work is theirs. Why? They worked their ass off creating it! And they did it for their own reasons, not so I could use it to benefit me later on. They’ve helped the site I started blossom and thrive and I owe way more to them than they do to me (Obviously, the same goes for Twiffidy, who was a wonderful addition to the site for two years before retiring from the site with zero love lost)!
Even though we’re not involved, it’s embarrassing because accusations and consulting lawyers and being upset about what people think of you is the exact opposite of what fandom is about. None of you should have to see that, let alone have the situation explained to you due to misleading information elsewhere. It’s sad that it got to that point.
The truth is, sometimes fandom fails you.
Site runners forget that we’re doing this for YOU and not for ourselves. Even if we live off what we make from our sites (which is few and far between, by the way, as most sites barely pay for themselves and almost all of us work full-time outside these shenanigans), we started our sites with the hopes of inspiring people and sharing our love of this thrilling, enchanting, emotional journey with others. We forget that in the long run, we are one of SEVERAL media outlets covering this fandom and our individual sites are not terribly important in the grand scheme of things because fans could easily get the same news elsewhere. We’re lucky to have you and acting like we’re the center of the Internet just ain’t cool.
Nobody wins here. So can we all agree to save the drama for our mamas and act like the stellar Hunger Games fanatics that we are?!
The Girl With The Pearl
FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY!
Lionsgate is done holding out on the fans and they’re making up for the wait in big ways!
Feast your eyes upon TheHungerGamesExclusive.com, which in its first incarnation includes..
- Six Mockingjay Set Photos
- A Video Interview with Julianne Moore
- A Roundtable with Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobsen, and Peter Craig
- A Page from the Script (That You Can Win!)
- The Hunger Games Franchise Motion Poster
THIS. This is the glorious stuff we were looking for when we found ourselves totally underwhelmed with the sheer consumerism of Capitol Couture! Not that the fashions aren’t cool, but it’s great to see that there’s some more tangible facts about the themes and overall filmmaking processes this time around.
In that spirit, let’s discuss the five most important things we learned today!
1) Plutarch Heavensbee will not be a freaky animation!
We were seriously concerned with rumors immediately following Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death that stated he would be added into his final scenes via CGI. It just seemed wrong and… what’s the word? CREEPTASTIC. Thankfully, it’s just a rumor! Francis and Nina revealed that for PSH’s non-dialogue scenes, previously recorded footage of the other was cut into the scene (thank you, consistently monotonous D13 uniforms!) and his dialogue was written out, with some lines occasionally given to Haymitch or Effie when appropriate. There’s no mention of him missing out on a *major scene* as suggested in early reports.
2) Effie Trinket is in District 13, bitches!
Fulvia who?! Rather than work in Plutarch’s assistant, the script was repurposed to include Effie Trinket in District 13, at the request of Suzanne Collins! But don’t expect Effie is be a punchline– the filmmakers make it clear that while she brings some levity, Effie is NOT adjusting well and is not there for a higher moral purpose. We’re so glad with get more than one or two scenes of Elizabeth Banks in action!
3) The Capitol tunnels are NOT in Paris (at least not totally in Paris!)
In the intro to the roundtable, the indoor Atlanta set is described as being in part “filled with dingy tunnels”. And here we thought filming was going to Paris for the tunnels! It’s set possible that they will utilize the Paris tunnels to a degree, but it looks like a hefty part of that sequence is coming off a soundstage!
4) Danny Strong ain’t the only screenwriter up in here!
It turns out Danny Strong was not as involved in the Mockingjay films as we thought! Scripts go through multiple drafts and it looks like Strong only wrote draft numero uno. Obviously, that’s a damn important draft, but after that, things went into the hands of Peter Craig, novelist and screenwriter most famously known for his work on The Town. Not only did he finalize the script, he’s been a near constant presence on the set and works with Francis to help the script change and evolve as needed. In case you didn’t know, this almost NEVER HAPPENS. It’s like spotting a unicorn!
5) District 13 probably ain’t so techie in the film version!
In her interview, Julianne Moore described District 13 has a bomb shelter in which the citizens barely manage, which sounds like a far cry from the tech-savvy District 13 from the books. Sure, the look is minimalist and food rations are puny, but Book!D13 is still slick with both food and weapons technology. Movie version seems a bit bleaker, but we suppose they can develop double exploding bombs either way, right?
Now When Do We Get MOAR Mockingjay News?!
The Girl With The Pearl
It’s Katniss Everdeen’s birthday, but we’re all being spoiled with presents!
New photos AND video from the Mockingjay Part 2 set made their way online over the past day, giving up our first bits of Mockingjay related news in PRETTY MUCH FOREVER.
It started with photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and a whole bunch of Capitol extras on the streets of Paris. Observe!
This bit started pretty hilariously. Media outlets shared plenty of headlines similar to “Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth hide from paparazzi and/or hide costumes behind overcoats!” Of course, we’re sure that like us, most of you noticed immediately that THOSE COATS ARE THEIR COSTUMES because this is the scene were Katniss and Gale disguise themselves to blend into the crowd evacuating to Capitol Square.
Seriously, did they think Liam Hemsworth just happened to have a little shredded leather number that makes him look like Andre the Giant handy?! And Jen’s coat has an over-the-shoulder cape situation. C’MON NOW!
Spoiler-ish in nature as it may be, we’re thrilled to get a first look at the fashion and Capitol “look” behind this film. It’s definitely going to be hard (perhaps impossible) to meet our Trish Summerville standards, but Kurt and Bart are doing well so far!
It seems the filming continued to take place in a pretty public area, because it wasn’t long after that that we got video of the actors, this time with the addition of Josh Hutcherson and Natalie Dormer:
And… SWEET BABY JESUS! WHAT HAPPENED TO JOSH HUTCHERSON’S HAIR?!
Peeta’s always been slightly blonder than you average blond man, but never has it been such an invasive shade of straight up yellow. Blonds don’t look like that! Did the Capitol somehow permanently fuck with his hair color during hijacking? Do you think it’s just the poor lighting? Seriously, somebody help us understand this. It hurts our eyeeeeees!
Now we need promo photos and video just to confirm that his hair is not as yellow as we think it is. For serious!
On another note, damn you Natalie Dormer for being one of like four women in the world who can rock the half-shaved head look! You’re unknowingly encouraging people other than you four to make terrible hairstyle decisions!
Sure, this is paparazzi info and not anything official. But hopefully now that SOME of the movie details are already out there, Lionsgate will actually feel compelled to release some quality looks into the film! We may not be that lucky, but a girl can hope.
Wishing For The Beginning Of The End Like A Dummy,
The Girl With The Pearl
… Just not the ring you’re thinking of!
Yup. J-Law went out on the town wearing a really adorable turquoise and gold ring that looked like any other piece of fairly common fashion jewelry. But she wore it on her left ring finger! Therefore, the media went apeshit.
The general media speculation was “OMG! OMG! OMGGGGG!!!!1!1! Is she engaged?! Why else would she wear that? What an unconventional ring!” SLOW YOUR ROLL, PEOPLE!
First off, since when can you only wear a ring on your left hand ring finger if you’re engaged? We know there are probably some old school superstitions that keep some people from wearing a ring on that particular finger, but in the past, we’ve worn rings on whatever finger we damn well please! None of us were engaged at ten-years-old, but if our shiny new ring only fit that finger, SO BE IT. If I weren’t engaged, I’d continue with that trend, too!
We’re sure even starlets don’t want to get every freaking ring they own resized, so it goes on whatever finger it fits on. It’s not rocket science!
We get it. Really we do! Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult have dated for like.. TWO YEARS all together, which is practically an eternity by Hollywood standards. They’re old enough and wealthy enough to consider marriage without everyone thinking they’ve completely lost their minds. Speculation will happen.
While we’re all dreaming of an X-Men themed wedding in which Sir Ian McKellan officiates (because that would be the natural course of action for these two, we assume), there are some things you just don’t make assumptions about! Clearly, someone’s engagement is one of those things.
So wear whatever jewelry you want on whatever finger you want, Jen. If it were something bigger, we know your people have press releases for that.
Til Then.. LIVE YO LIFE!
The Girl With The Pearl
Yes, he got an exciting premiere and a vacation in Hawaii out of it, but this has probably been a bit of a rough week for Sam Claflin.
Why, you ask? He’s been busy promoting his new movie, The Quiet Ones. We’ll even help by throwing in the trailer here:
But there’s not a whole lot of focus on the film at hand. If you’ve been watching the interviews, you know what we mean. There’s four questions tops that most media sites bother asking Sam:
1. So what’s this movie about?
2. It’s scary! What scares you?
3. How was all the 70s costuming?
4. Catching Fire! Mockingjay! Finnick! TELL US MORE.
We should note that it’s definitely not Sam-clusive. We know the same thing happened to Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth when they promoted other films, even on The Academy Awards red carpet. And in a way, we feel a little bad for them. We’re sure they don’t mind talking about The Hunger Games, but it must make them feel like their projects outside the series are pretty inconsequential in the eyes of the public (as we are represented by the media. Horrifying, isn’t it?!)
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily help that The Quiet Ones is a Lionsgate property and some of their advertising looks like this:
Now the young and/or easily confused among us Hunger Games fans believe Finnick has taken up a time-warp side job of filming supernatural phenomena! Not really… we hope.
We get it, interviewers ’round the world. The Hunger Games is a <strong>really big freaking deal</strong> and the fact that these actors are in the franchise is part of the reason why many fans will go see their other films in the first place. But let’s take it one film at a time.
We all know you’re going to ask Sam the same slew of exhausting questions once promotion for Mockingjay: Part 1 rolls around, so why not ask them then? Do you really think he’ll give you some crazy scoop in the meantime? Doubtful!
In the meantime, please try to come up with some creative questions surround the movie the actor in question is actually promoting. We know it’s not as big of a media draw, but this is something of value to them that they put work into, even if it’s not a major blockbuster. Give em some credit there! We’ll get back to Mockingjay en masse later!
He Sported That Hairdo, So Sam Deserves Credit!
The Girl With The Pearl
Yesterday, there was a lot of talk of bunnies in my family. Particularly, a giant one that hide eggs and leaves candy for children. Yup, this guy:
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the kids lost a tooth in the midst of all this bunny talk. Suddenly, the conversation switches to “TOOTH FAIRY!”
While these particular mythical beings aren’t popular everywhere in the world, you know what is? Beings of mythical proportion. Think the Greek or Roman Gods, sprites, Santa, ghosts, mermaids, urban legends about serial killers lurking anywhere a teenager would even think about rounding second base… the list could go on forever!
Except, of course, in Panem.
It’s not that there’s no myths or legends at all. It’s just that the ones we’re introduced to are very much routed in reality. Perhaps the closest we get to myth is “The Hanging Tree”, because it’s told from the perspective of a dead man. A spirit or a ghost, perhaps. But even so, they don’t address it as such.
Panem takes itself pretty seriously, especially Katniss, so maybe there’s just no need for myths in the story. Maybe they’d just take away from the stark reality too much. “Don’t worry about the Bogeyman, kid! If anyone’s going to kill you, it’s the government!”
Still, we don’t think that legends could story manifesting in ANY world. Because that would mean people have stopped making up elaborate stories. Could that ever happen? We don’t think so. There’s always going to be that creature in the woods/lake/closet or the invisible bringer of good fortune. No matter what you call it or what story you build up around it, it’s there.
You may say legends got stopped out in the same way religion clearly was in Panem (and has been attempted in our world at various points), but we have our doubts. Religion, to a government that wants to be all powerful, poses a threat. So maybe we stomp out the ones vaguely tied to religion. Children’s stories do not. In fact, many of these beings work as cautionary tales that help keep kids in line.
More than anything, it’s probably a case of Katniss Everdeen growing up too fast to care one bit about childish stories, but we gotta admit, that makes us a little sad. Everyone needs a good dose of fantasy to offset their reality.
Our Imagination Still Runs Wild,
The Girl With The Pearl