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…]

Citizens of Panem being “Processed” Now

So, a few weeks ago, we posted here about the new Capitol website being launched in conjunction with the forthcoming film of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games (the fact that it is specifically a film tie-in website is indicated by the fact that the countdown to the next Games is not for next summer, but for the film’s March release date). Those of us who registered on the site using our social media (i.e. Twitter or facebook) were assigned a District and then told we then had to wait for our “District Identification Passes” or DIPs (snort) to be processed. Starting this past weekend, “citizens” began getting emails directing them to proceed with registering (interspersed with visits to the website which, for some odd reason, was briefly switched to a Latin text, but more on that later). For more on the experience, and on the fascinating ironies of this little marketing ploy, follow me after the jump. [Read more…]

CNN Tries to Catch On with Hunger Games–and Fails Miserably

Today, CNN posted an article that predicts, wow! That this Hunger Games thing just might be a big deal. The tone of the article is ridiculously glib, apparently in an effort to deflect from the fact that such an article makes the folks at CNN look further behind the times than the crowd that keeps popping up with “Hey, this Harry Potter stuff is actually Christian! Who knew?” The reporter, who is listed as being “special” is evidently either not familiar enough with the book to get the basics correct (like the relationship between Katniss and Peeta prior to the Reaping) or is trying too hard to be cute. Once again, the mainstream media is missing the real power of this story, thinking that it will be a big hit because of the sex and violence factors, and completely failing to notice (again) the power of this story or its razor-sharp critique of that very gore and smut industry. After all, The Hunger Games uses a story of real, sacrificial love to reveal the tragedies produced by a culture obsessed with violence as entertainment. As the movie’s release date draws near (posters are already up at the local cineplex) we can expect more of this nonsense. But then again, how likely is CNN to get what this story really does? After all, the mainstream media and its news-as-entertainment focus is part of the beautifully woven (and very sticky) web Suzanne Collins has woven. It really isn’t that shocking that they can’t see the message our crafty spider has posted with her riveting tale.