The Standard Rich and Famous Contract: Some Unconventional if Totally Appropriate Catching Fire Casting Suggestions

It seems like everyone is weighing in on casting suggestions for Catching Fire. The Girl on Fire site has been doing a “Finding Finnick” series; one of our recent posts presented a wonderful possible structure for the film, prompting a commenter to quail in terror at the thought of Harrison Ford as Plutarch Heavensbee. All of this prognosticating and wondering has led me to a very different possible direction for casting the Victors chosen to compete in the Quarter Quell. Why not cast actual celebrities, a la The Celebrity Apprentice and other horrible reality shows? Before you start throwing things at me, follow me after the jump to see my suggestions and to see why having actual athletes and movie and rock stars as the Victors would actually be completely in line with Collins’s story of entertainment as slavery for both its viewers and those it ostensibly glorifies.
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Hogwarts Professor on Hunger Games Victory Tour: Appalachia, Academia, and it’s All in the Pin

I have just returned from a wonderful whirlwind visit to the fabulous Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University where I was whisked to speak on The Hunger Games as Appalachian novel. I also had the opportunity to present that topic at the much closer but also wonderful Lees-McRae college, and I have been (and will be) doing other Hunger Games-type programs in the midst of the movie hoopla. As our month of Hunger Games movie madness winds down, these programs help bring readers and filmgoers into our on-going conversation about the complexity and artistry of Suzanne Collins’s Panem novels. Join me after the jump to hear more about the talks and about events with our students Mayland Community College where, for me, all this started. [Read more…]

Lionsgate Hunger Games Film A Satisfactory Movie Experience; Cinema Treatment Leaves Serious Readers Hungry for More

Two years ago, I read The Hunger Games for the first time and decided I would start using the novel as part of my Expository Writing courses at Mayland Community College. On March 23, I had the great pleasure of seeing the film adaptation of the novel on opening day in the company of my students and colleagues at a special showing at the great old Yancey Theater in Burnsville, NC, just up the road from where large portions of the movie were filmed. Though I took notes the whole time, much to the amusement of my students (who laughed at the dandelions in my braid, too), I won’t share all of my many thoughts on the movie, though there will be spoilers for non-readers (Not many of those here, anyway, I imagine!). Join me after the jump to see what aspects of the film I (and my fellow MCC readers) found most satisfactory, and what left us feeling unsatisfied. [Read more…]

Scenes from District 12 and Great Tourism Opportunities

This past week, I had the opportunity to visit the abandoned Henry River Mill Community where many of the District 12 scenes were filmed for the upcoming Hunger Games film. Here are a few of the photographs we snapped. I was prepared for surly security guards, police officers, even, but it was a lovely day, and the only person we encountered was a delightful gentleman who had been wanting to photograph the site and was aware of the film only as something that blocked up traffic back in the summer. I was hoping for dandelions, but had to settle for daffodils, which, as Katniss would tell us, are completely inedible, but I like them because they linger on long after people have left a house or town site, beautiful yellow reminders of a past that is long gone. [Read more…]

New Hunger Games Profile Posters Provide New Glimpses With a Capitol Touch

Lionsgate, the company in charge of the new Hunger Games film to be released in March, has just put out a series of striking new posters that each feature one of the story’s major characters, photographed in profile. The images are fascinating, and not just for their surface meaning (Come see this movie! Buy loads of popcorn!). In fact, their underlying meaning is just as riveting as the actors’ distant stares. Follow me after the jump for some overall thoughts on this whole poster campaign and some insights on each one. [Read more…]