Before I gush about The Hunger Games yet again, I want to start off with a hope that everyone is safe. I’m writing this blog in the middle of incoming news about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. If you’re in Boston or just have a lot of connections to the city, I hope you and your loved ones are safe today. Google has put up a person finder for those looking for loved ones, and the Red Cross is looking for blood donors in the area. And if the events in today’s news are too much for you, I hope that this blog can provide you with some distraction.
Last night during the MTV Movie Awards, the first teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiered. If you’re like me and just could not put yourself through another MTV awards ceremony for a few glimpses of fandom joy, the trailer went online immediately after. I’m embedding it below and the link is here. There is some violent imagery and implications in the trailer, but nothing graphic.
So, what’s noticeable about the sequel to one of last year’s biggest films right off the bat? Besides the chills down my spine and the tears running down my face?
Well, first off, the editors of this trailer definitely remember what the word ‘teaser’ means. Fans of the books know that half of Catching Fire takes place on the Victory Tour and in District 12 while the other half is in the Capitol and in the arena for the Quarter Quell. Besides the scene with President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee and the District 12 victors entering the gala, we see nothing of The Capitol or the Quarter Quell in this trailer. This has lead to some fan speculation that the Quell won’t be seen in this film and might be delayed till Mockingjay – Part 1. Which I’m 1,010 percent sure will not happen because:
- What’s the point of a teaser trailer if you’re alluding to everything that happens in the film? It’s likely we won’t see a full trailer with scenes from the Quell until the end of the Summer Blockbuster season. Plus, it’s a good idea marketing wise to focus on the uprising initially to get people who aren’t as familiar with the books hooked onto the story line of the film. Hence the use of the hashtag “#TheSpark”
- It’s April. The film comes out in November. If anything, they’re probably still working on editing the scenes in the arena.
The other obvious things in this trailer are the director and location changes.
Okay, maybe the location changes aren’t as obvious to others as they are to me. I spend a lot of time in Atlanta and in Georgia. The aesthetics of the state are supremely obvious to me, especially after seeing the state in so many movies and tv shows in the past few years.
But the director change…
I loved the angle Gary Ross took in The Hunger Games. The documentary angle that allowed us to be in Katniss’ head and share her experiences without hearing her thoughts on a voiceover while seamlessly stepping outside of the arena to see the outside influences that were shaping the events inside the arena. In the trailer, we see that there is still some of that, with the discussion between Snow and Heavensbee and the uprising that recalls images of the violent protests that have proliferated the news in the past few years. But everything seems a bit… glossier. And not as rough and tumble as the first film. Maybe that’s director Francis Lawrence’s music video experience shining through. Maybe it seems that way just from the limited scope of the first trailer. I mean, we won’t really be able to see the real difference in directing until we get into the arena again.
Starting in Catching Fire, the Hunger Games Trilogy becomes a different sort of animal. The first book was about a girl trying to survive a fight to the death that’s entertainment for the people of the Capitol. Catching Fire and Mockingjay are about the same girl dealing with the consequences of what she experienced. Becoming an inadvertent icon of the revolution while having to battle the demons that planted themselves after she left the arena. The Katniss of those books are miles away from the Katniss we meet in Chapter 1 of The Hunger Games. Maybe it makes sense that our view of the events happening around her changes in the next three films.
I just hope that Francis Lawrence has some sort of understanding of this.
No matter how this film turns out though, I think some of the images we see in the trailer are going to stick with me for quite some time. Especially the one of the graffiti that says “The odds are NEVER in our favor.” Because if you ever wanted to sum up District life in one sentence, there it is.
That’s it for today’s blog. Come back on Wednesday for a little less Hunger Games and a little more “Save Rock and Roll.”