On Movies and Writing

Erin and I went to see the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire. We quite enjoyed it; I think it may even be better than the first (the director, Francis Lawrence, seemed to do a better job capturing the emotional power of the narrative than the first film’s director, Gary Ross, in my opinion). After watching the movie, we resolved that we’d happily see it again if we could.

I think I’d happily watch anything that Jennifer Lawrence appeared in (even American Hustle, perhaps, although that doesn’t strike me as a particularly ‘me’ kind of movie). But the actors I like most in this film are Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. These are support roles and Banks in particular has to act underneath some rather hideous makeup and costumes, but what really appeals to me — in the second movie as much as the first — is that these actors really show characters who are trapped in a corrupt system.

Really, this is what The Hunger Games comes down to. There would have been a great temptation, I think, to show the Capitol as some irredeemably corrupt being, but when you get down to Katniss’ support crew, you really do see that there are people in the capital who know that the system is wrong, are unable to do anything about it, and their souls are being crushed by the weight of it all.

In Catching Fire, there is a moment that literally had me gasping in admiration and horror, as Cinna makes a political statement that you know is going to get him killed. Effie Trinket isn’t as brave, but you can see through Elizabeth Banks’ acting that she kind of wishes that she were. And that small touch makes a big difference in how I connect with this movie. Well worth seeing.

It’s been a pretty busy month this month, but I have been writing. Here’s some of the stuff that I’ve cleared off my plate:

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