MTV’s Hopes, Dreams and Fears for ‘Catching Fire’

Now that filming for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has officially started and we’re only 435 days away from its big screen debut (yeah, I said ‘only’), MTV took the time to share the hopes, dreams and fears they have concerning the film.

Our Hopes
Director Gary Ross proved himself exceptionally loyal to “The Hunger Games” source material when he gave us the series’ first film — going so far as to collaborate with author Suzanne Collins — and we hope Francis Lawrence will be similarly true to the books as he brings “Catching Fire” to life. But Ross also knew when the cinema offered important, useful opportunities to deviate from his source material, and this movie needs the same touch: namely, by forgoing the extended flashbacks to book one and dishing up more character development in its place. The relationship between Katniss and Gale, for instance, got short shrift in the first movie and needs more attention on this go-round in order to spotlight and encapsulate the heroine’s conflict — not between this guy or that guy, but between the safety of her past and the uncertainty of a revolutionary future. Also: more behind-the-scenes glimpses of President Snow at his evil best will make him a more compelling villain.

Our Dreams
Knowing more or less what will happen in “Catching Fire,” the only place for unfounded speculation is all about the how of bringing it to life. And without giving away too much, it’s the settings where we’re pinning our most no-holds-barred fantasies: the arena for the 75th Hunger Games, and its peculiar traps and tricks, could be an extravaganza that blows its predecessor out of the water. And if there’s one thing we know about Lawrence, it’s that his background in music videos shows that he has the artistic vision to make this movie heart-stoppingly, jaw-droppingly awesome from a visual standpoint.

Our Fears
Like anyone who loved the books, we are seriously scurred of seeing a favorite scene get lost in translation or a favorite character get chopped. And when it comes to the latter, the risk of a movie-ruining mistake is bigger than ever before; the alliances that form in the Quarter Quell arena are vital to both the emotional core of this story, as well as the larger themes of the franchise. Or, in other words, if the other tributes don’t get enough screen time, “Catching Fire” risks being nothing more than another flat action flick with no soul instead of the portrait of a nascent revolution that we all know it could be.

I think these are reasonable, don’t you?  Tell us what you think and please share your hopes, dreams and fears with us in the comments section below!

Source: MTV via DWTC

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Donald Sutherland’s letter to Gary Ross that inspired rose garden scenes

You may remember earlier this year when we told you how Donald Sutherland inspired new (and powerful) scenes in The Hunger Games.  Well thanks to the DVD/Blu-ray special features we now know just what he did to inspire those scenes.  In the special feature section titled Letters From The Rose Garden the three page letter Sutherland sent to Gary Ross concerning President Snow has been made available to all.

Dear Gary Ross:
Power. That’s what this is about? Yes? Power and the forces that are manipulated by the powerful men and bureaucracies trying to maintain control and possession of that power?
Power perpetrates war and oppression to maintain itself until it finally topples over with the bureaucratic weight of itself and sinks into the pages of history (except in Texas), leaving lessons that need to be learned unlearned.
Power corrupts, and, in many cases, absolute power makes you really horny. Clinton, Chirac, Mao, Mitterrand.
Not so, I think, with Coriolanus Snow. His obsession, his passion, is his rose garden. There’s a rose named Sterling Silver that’s lilac in colour with the most extraordinarily powerful fragrance – incredibly beautiful – I loved it in the seventies when it first appeared. They’ve made a lot of off shoots of it since then.
I didn’t want to write to you until I’d read the trilogy and now I have so: roses are of great importance. And Coriolanus’s [sic] eyes. And his smile. Those three elements are vibrant and vital in Snow. Everything else is, by and large, perfectly still and ruthlessly contained. What delight she [Katniss] gives him. He knows her so perfectly. Nothing, absolutely nothing, surprises him. He sees and understands everything. he was, quite probably, a brilliant man who’s succumbed to the siren song of power.
How will you dramatize the interior narrative running in Katniss’s head that describes and consistently updates her relationship with the President who is ubiquitous in her mind? With omniscient calm he knows her perfectly. She knows he does and she knows that he will go to any necessary end to maintain his power because she knows that he believes that she’s a real threat to his fragile hold on his control of that power. She’s more dangerous than Joan of Arc.
Her interior dialogue/monologue defines Snow. It’s that old theatrical turnip: you can’t ‘play’ a king, you need everybody else on stage saying to each other, and therefore to the audience, stuff like “There goes the King, isn’t he a piece of work, how evil, how lovely, how benevolent, how cruel, how brilliant he is!” The idea of him, the definition of him, the audience’s perception of him, is primarily instilled by the observations of others and once that idea is set, the audience’s view of the character is pretty much unyielding. And in Snow’s case, that definition, of course, comes from Katniss.
Evil looks like our understanding of the history of the men we’re looking at. It’s not what we see: it’s what we’ve been led to believe. Simple as that. Look at the face of Ted Bundy before you knew what he did and after you knew.
Snow doesn’t look evil to the people in Panem’s Capitol. Bundy didn’t look evil to those girls. My wife and I were driving through Colorado when he escaped from jail there. The car radio’s warning was constant. ‘Don’t pick up any young men. The escapee looks like the nicest young man imaginable’. Snow’s evil shows up in the form of the complacently confident threat that’s ever present in his eyes. His resolute stillness. Have you seen a film I did years ago? ‘The Eye of the Needle’. That fellow had some of what I’m looking for.
The woman who lived up the street from us in Brentwood came over to ask my wife a question when my wife was dropping the kids off at school. This woman and her husband had seen that movie the night before and what she wanted to know was how my wife could live with anyone who could play such an evil man. It made for an amusing dinner or two but part of my wife’s still wondering.
I’d love to speak with you whenever you have a chance so I can be on the same page with you.
They all end up the same way. Welcome to Florida, have a nice day

How amazing is this?!

Source: Business Insider

Snow’s Rose

I think this is one of my favorite pieces of Hunger Games fan art ever! I’m not going to lie, this image actually frightens me a bit.  This is just a like a scene out of a horror film, which is very fitting.  Considering that this is such a frightening moment for Katniss in Mockingjay, Lizzomarek (also known as i-am-katniss on tumblr) totally nailed it with this drawing!

“Positioned on my dresser, that white-as-snow rose is a personal message to me. It speaks of unfinished business. It whispers, I can find you. I can reach you. Perhaps I am watching you now.”

I love how she imagines Snow watching Katniss from behind, though he’s not really there.  It shows just how powerful the presence of his ominous rose is to her.  This really is amazing.

We’ve shared some of lizzomarek’s work in the past, which you can check out by clicking here.

Roses

“The smell of roses and blood has grown stronger now that only a desk separates us. There’s a rose in President Snow’s lapel, which at least suggests a source of the flower perfume, but it must be genetically enhanced, because no real rose reeks like that. As for the blood… I don’t know.”

This depiction of Katniss’ first encounter with President Snow is by PetaloMam on Deviantart. 

Mockingjay Pin is SO 80’s!

This amusing fashion interpretation of the mockingjay pin comes from the snarky meangirlsofpanem.tumblr.com, who we’ve featured before and we’re sure will again many times.

“That is the ugliest effing pin I have ever seen.”

Yep, that’s exactly how it went down between Cinna, Katniss, and President Snow!

To Kill A Mockingjay

So this is what President Snow reads!  To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the best loved and influential American novels out there, but I know that I have mistakenly inserted mockingjay into that title without even noticing.  It looks like I am not the only one!  Anyone else?

As we can see here, this version appeals to President Snow.  We wonder if he referred to this book during the rebellion?

Source:  effie–abernathy.tumblr.com

Seneca Crane finds the Burn Book

High school gossip strikes Panem! Here is another meme courtesy of the incomparable Meangirlsofpanem tumblr! Seneca Crane has found the Burn Book and look what scandal he discovered.

Of course Glimmer would be in this one, wouldn’t she?

If you haven’t yet visited this AWESOME tumblr you should consider doing so. It’s full of funny stuff!

There’s A Rebuttal For That – Complaint #34

Did Seneca Crane die too soon?


Complaint #34 – I can’t believe they put in the death of Seneca! THAT IS A SECOND BOOK EVENT!

TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Not so.  Crane’s death happened sometime between the first and second book.  Obviously, it happened right after Katniss & Peeta’s victory.  Makes sense.  For the film to be a standalone, this was the perfect place to put it.

Jessi, TheFandom.Net – Another beautiful added scene!  I always assumed, actually, that this is about when Seneca was killed.  It’s just after the games, I don’t know why President Snow would keep him alive once he realizes he wants him dead.  We don’t find out about it until the second book because of our limitations of only knowing what Katniss knows. This was such a clever addition to the film, even if it isn’t accurate I don’t care!

Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – Just because the execution of Seneca Crane was mentioned in the second book doesn’t mean that’s when it happened. That’s merely when Katniss found out about it. As mentioned, it would make more sense to execute Seneca promptly after the end of the 74th Games, to send a message that he shouldn’t have let Katniss and Peeta upstage The Capitol the way they did. It was actually a perfect conclusion to the additional scenes between Seneca and Snow.

Tanvi, Hunger Games Network - How do you KNOW it was a second book event? Second book is when Katniss hears of it. For all we know, Seneca Crane might have been executed the very second Games promotion wrapped up. I cannot emphasize enough on how brilliant this part of the movie was.

Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – I could spend days gushing about this scene. It was absolutely brilliant! But aside from just being generally incredible, its inclusion was also a very STRATEGIC choice on the part of Gary Ross/whoever came up with the idea. Since many people watching the movie will NOT have read the books, they needed to make sure that the film ended in a suspenseful, intriguing way that would lead into Catching Fire. This scene shows us — the audience — that Snow is pissed. That his threats aren’t meaningless. That even though the Games are over and Katniss and Peeta are Victors, they’re not actually safe. No one is.

Luly - First of all, the news of his death are known in the 2nd book, it doesn’t necessarily happen in the 2nd book. Second of all, the fact that they included that scene worked in different levels: it allowed you to see how cruel the Capitol is, how President Snow works and how dangerous it is for those who don’t do as he says. That little scene there on its own pictured Snow’s personality completely and the way that the Capitol behaves, not to mention the way in which they manage what whoever didn’t do as they expected. Being included in the first movie also shows it as a “conclusion” of the 74th Games, you understand that something like that wasn’t supposed to happen and it’s a total anomaly, that what Katniss and Peeta did was something as important as to kill who was unable to stop them. You need that idea for the end of the first movie.

To see our previous complaints, go to our Rebuttal Page

We will be posting a new complaint and our argument against it each day until all 36 complaints have been posted.  We hope that if you didn’t like the movie for any of the issues we have coming within this next month, you will continue to hear us out and at least take into consideration our reasoning/rebuttal about it. Logical comments are welcome!  All others are invalid.

Hope is the Only Thing Stronger than Fear – Snow

Gary Ross will be greatly missed! Not only did he stuck close to the source material of the book for The Hunger Games, but he also added scenes respecting the integrity of the book. One such scene was the conversation between President Snow and Seneca Crane in the Rose Garden. Do you remember that line about hope that Snow mentions? It’s one of the best lines in the movie! Don’t you think?

Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. 

The blood and the white rose are both used to symbolize Snow. Credit goes to wheezering!

President Snow convicted in mock trial

What a great way to teach kids about the justice system!  A Florida prosecutor wrote up a case for and against President Snow in the case The Nation of Panem vs Coriolanus Snow.  What’s so cool is kids actually got to go to the courthouse and act as jurors where they found him guilty! Coolest ‘take your child to work day’ ever! See excerpt of story below.

If you read The Hunger Games hoping that the tyrannical President Snow would eventually be subject to some serious comeuppance, you are not alone. But would you take the steps necessary to hold a trial and convict him of his various crimes against the people of Panem? That’s exactly what a group of kids did on Take Your Child to Work Day in Broward County, Florida. On a field trip to the Broward County Courthouse, one group of kids took a trip to the local courthouse and held a mock trial against President Snow, acted as the jurors, and found him guilty, providing an alternate version of, well, we won’t spoil it for you.

It was the idea of Tim Donnelly, a prosecutor and father of four who saw the movie not too long ago and had the idea to write up a fake case against Snow in the form of a junior courtroom drama that would take place right in the Broward County Courthouse, Room 418. In his off-time, Donnelly wrote out both sides of the case of The Nation of Panem v. President Coriolanus Snow and even got his fellow prosecutors to play roles in it. It’s actually a brilliant and fun idea, with the purpose of exposing the kids to the inner workings of the legal system, using something very familiar (and entertaining) as a reference tool.

Continue reading HERE.