5.17.2011

Hunger Games Fever!

I've been following along with the Hunger Games filming news, and it has reawakened my intense love of the series. I re-read the books last week, and have started reading The Girl Who Was on Fire (the amazing anthology). I am certain that The Hunger Games is one of the smartest books ever written. How Suzanne Collins was able to write something that could appeal to so many people, while making us all re-think our stand on media, violence, and oppression, I have no idea. But I would love to live inside her head for a few days and be enlightened.

So anyway, all of this has brought on a sort of Hunger Games fever that I've been living with for the past month. I am practically inhaling the new casting info and random posts that have anything to do with it. I want to share the fever! So this post is going to be a compilation of sorts, of casting news, posts from the Hunger Games community, and some of my own thoughts, too. It's a little random, but I'm trying not to take up three or four posts here...which I could easily do. ;)

First thing's first, I listened to the 7th episode of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat last night. There was so much news and cool information, that I had the greatest time! It happens every Monday night at 10 pm ET. I highly suggest you listen to it this episode, since there is a pretty sexy commercial for Finnick Odair at 47:00. You Finnick fans (like me!) don't want to miss it. ;)

Some other cool things from the chat:

They talked about this fantastic blog ran by Crystal Watanabe, called Fictional Food, where she makes food mentioned in books. I especially love her recipe for Perfectly Prim Goat Cheese, as mentioned in the first book, when Katniss wakes up to find the goat cheese Prim left for her. It's wrapped in basil leaves and everything. This is the same woman who made the gorgeous Cake That Was on Fire, which was definitely not easy. I'm in love with her blog already. I mean, she is currently growing Dandelions in her front yard to make Katniss' dandelion salad, people! That's commitment! 

I am also enthralled with the Complete Etymology of the Names in Panem, that they mentioned. I have been wondering if there was any significance behind the many names in the books, but now I know there is! They used Finnick Odair as an example, and I thought it was perfect, so I'm including it as well. The third paragraph is especially interesting!
Finnick is a portmanteau meant to evoke commonalities of traditional Irish naming. It is a conjunction of "fin," for District Four's ocean/fishing specialty, and "nick" or Nicholas, meaning "Victory Of The People."

Odair is a play on Adair, a Scotch-Gaelic name meaning "happy spear" (like his trident!) but also likely takes origin in the name of Odysseus (The Odyssey).

Finnick's arc in The Hunger Games series almost perfectly mirrors Odysseus' journey over the course of the Illiad and Odyssey: he is victorious in battle (the Games) but is not allowed to fully return home to his weak wife; he has to escape the alleged paradise of the island of the Lotus Eaters (the Capitol) and is threatened by the Laistrygones and evil witch-queen Circe (Snow); he is forced to endure and must escape the sexual perversions of the Sirens (Capitol citizens, his forced sex slavery); try to make his way home trapped between the monsters of Scylla and Charybdis (basically he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't); and go to Hades and back to be able to find his wife again (likely, the Quarter Quell and the retrieval of Annie from the Capitol).
-Etymology of the Names in Panem

On to the film adaptation!
...where I am humbled by a certain post.

I'm sure you've all heard that the "big three" have been cast for the film: (left to right) Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale. 


And the tributes have also been cast. The official Facebook page has a cool app where you can see all the tributes and play around a little:

I especially love the casting picks for Rue, Thresh, Foxface, and Glimmer. They are even better than I imagined!

I didn't have an opinion on any of the other tributes cast, but I did have a strong objection to Peeta. He just wasn't what I pictured. At all. I even said a few things about it...then I saw this painting of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta (via Savanna and Down With the Capitol) . I don't think there could be any doubt after looking at it. He's perfect!



But as I rejoiced that my only wishes for the movie had finally come true (a Peeta who looked like Peeta, and a Katniss who could act), I noticed something: wasn't I doing exactly what the people in the Capitol were doing in the book? Wasn't the message of the book a statement about the state of the current media craze, among other things? Ironic, no? 

Shylah from A Tribute to Tributes, covers this in her recent post about fans reactions the the film adaptation. She talks about the drastic reactions to news that there may be differences between the film and the book, and puts it so well, saying:
"These fans are so caught up in the millions of minute details that they are missing what should be (and by the decisions made to this point, I believe is) the main reason for wanting a Hunger Games film in the first place: to expose a wider range of people to the messages behind the books.

These films should make people think about poverty, oppression, classism, and our own desensitization to violence. Anyone who sees The Hunger Games, fan or not, should walk out of the theater questioning their own place in society, and wondering how they can enact change and revolution in our world.



Anything less would be a disservice to the books."

-Shylah, A Tribute to Tributes blog

Wow. She brought up a great point, and I am sufficiently humbled. I am excited to hear about each new person cast (and truth be told, I'm still on CinnaWatch 2011), but I realize what is most important about the movie: getting the message across. And the actors cast all seem very capable of connecting with their characters and bringing them alive to get that message out there. That's enough for me!

I can't wait for 2012! :)
Do you have Hunger Games Fever? I want to hear your thoughts!

P.S. Shylah also has a great post called The Sexification of Mr. Abernathy or, How Haymitch Got His Paunch Back, that is some good reading for a reminder of who Haymitch really is.

7 comments:

  1. Oooh! I love that fan art of Peeta!!!! It makes me so excited to see Josh in the movie. Also, I had no idea they already casted Cato and Clove. Thanks for the head's up!

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  2. I SO have Hunger Games fever!!! You are so right that Peeta fan art is perfect. I really like Josh Hutcherson for Peeta. And thanks for mentioning that fictional food blog! Its SO COOL. :)

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  3. Great informative post. I absolutely love the casting! The main 3's appearances might not be spot on, but I think their essences are. Don't be a stranger; stop by my blog and say hi! I'm not sure if we're fellow followers, but I follow you!

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads

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  4. Cialina: Glad I could help! And isn't that fan art so awesome!

    Julia: Yay, Fellow fever holder! :) Glad you like the Fictional Food blog. I think it's the coolest idea!

    Cory: Totally agree. And I'm on my way to your blog after typing this! :)

    Juju: Lol. I think he's starting to grow on me...I just can't wait until they start filming. I'm hoping they'll have sneak peeks and stuff. :)

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  5. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!

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Thanks for commenting! I read each and every one, and reply as soon as I can :)

Please note: The Reading Fever is an award-free zone. I am very flattered, but comments are all the thanks I need.

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