Thursday, November 20, 2014

TONIGHT: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

There are people who have been waiting for this night for a year. I am just two hours away from leaving for the theater to see the next installment; as usual, I will post my immediate reaction via Twitter, and I promise I am going to work through the night to get the post up asap for tomorrow. Needless to say, as usual, the post will contain all the spoilers, so if you do not want to know what happens in the film before you see it, don't read my post. There are some things we should be looking for, so here is the third clip that has been released featuring Haymitch and Effie:
Granted, we do not know the larger context of the "meeting" that appears to be taking place (and Katniss, as usual, not wanting to be a part of it), but the writing board apparatus Haymitch uses signals us that there is a clear "subtext": how do we know this? In spite of how terrible Haymitch's writing is, the screen upon which he writes is still capable of "reading" what he's trying to communicate; in fact, we could even say that Haymitch's writing is so bad (look at it again at 0:16) that it serves as a form of "erasure" and the screen (and we should understand that to be not only the computer screen, but also the "silver screen" we watch the film on) is relaying what he actually means in spite of the scrawl he puts up. Why is this important? It means we are being invited to do the same thing as the computer.
In the books, Effie Trinket is dropped from the events after the second Hunger Games (or before), so she wasn't originally in this segment, but the film makers decided she added so much to the narrative, they created a role for her; this is important, almost to the point of making Effie the most important character in the film because she is the sole creation of the film makers, so through her, we will have a "clear voice" of what the film makers believe they are saying with this film. When Haymitch tells Effie, I like you better without all that make-up, we notice that, in essence, her face has been "erased." and that's not necessarily a bad thing; in other words, the same way that Effie has had the make-up removed from her face, is basically what the Resistance is hoping to do to the Capitol, erase it, like it was never there, create a "fresh" and "clean" slate, like Effie's face. Why is she wearing gray? Gray is the color of the pilgrim doing penance. Effie has lived the lifestyle of the Capitol, now, like Haymitch detoxing from alcohol, she is detoxing from her luxuries and extravagance. As you know, hats and hair symbolize our thoughts; since we don't see Effie's hair (usually very visible) does that mean she doesn't have any thoughts? No, because the two emotional incidents Effie is so quick to mention as being great Katniss moments, took place when we didn't think Effie had a heart or a mind of her own, and her remembering them with such ease demonstrates that there is much more to her than meets the eye. The "knot" her scarf is tied in could mean one of two things: having been a citizen of the Capitol for so long, there is a part of her hating to see it go, but she's keeping that part of her back, knowing this is what has to happen; or, Effie possibly shares Haymitch's distrust of the official leaders of the Rebellion, and is keeping her thoughts back from them, like Haymitch wearing the black stocking cap. Whatever Effie does though, however trivial, pay attention to it because it has a larger significance.
As the scene progresses, we are going to hear things, that, like the screen, we need to interpret so we can understand what is really being said, what the intended message is, in spite of the scrawl of events we see on the screen. For example, Haymitch "erases" something from the screen before he begins writing, and I am guessing that might have been spec plans on the take-over of the capitol, and he is going to replace those plans with his own, but I am guessing here. Haymitch erasing what the person before him put down, with his own ideas, suggests that he's going to try and change the narrative, the direction that the revolution--or, at least, the role Katniss will play in it, as he did with making her allies with Finnick (Sam Claflin) and convincing everyone to sacrifice their selves for her--is going to take because there is dissent between Plutarch, Coin and Haymitch.
Three things about President Coin: first, her two-tone hair means that she is of "two different minds," and she might say one thing, but that doesn't mean she isn't plotting something else. Secondly, she has a crazy eye (easier seen in the trailer) and that means she doesn't "see" events correctly, like when she says, "The Games destroyed her," Coin sees the Games as having destroyed Katniss, instead of having made her stronger; this is going to be important to how we are supposed to understand her. Thirdly, the outfit Coin wears is closely resembling China's communist attire that all "citizen" and "comrades" wear to show their equality with each other; be on the look-out for details such as that.
What about Effie's responses? Effie, in this clip, is the only one saying anything, and my guess is, Coin and Plutarch aren't properly using Katniss as the "weapon" that she is against the Capitol; in other words, Haymitch and Effie realize that what Katniss has done, in volunteering for Prim and singing to Rue, made Katniss a genuine heroine to the people because Katniss didn't hide her feelings, and it's that genuineness in her that inspire people to be willing to give up their lives to take back their world and possibly die. There are two critical details about Haymitch that we have to keep in mind.
In communist China, these popular T-shirts, advertising Obama as a socialist like Mao, sell for $60 a piece. 
First, the hat Haymitch wears: he's keeping his thoughts to himself. Even in this scene, where he appears to be "thinking out loud," he's not telling everything, or even a fraction of what everyone else needs to know; expect Haymitch to do something very unexpected, like him creating the alliances for Katniss in the last film. Secondly, Haymitch wears all black. This could mean one of two things: first, black is always the color of death, but it either means that the person is all ready dead (usually spiritually) or they are dead to things of the world so they are alive in their spirit. The second line of reasonsing is very possible--no one there seems to be holding onto any of their worldly possessions--but I have a feeling that Haymitch is a "dead man walking," that, either in this film or in the next, he has decided that he's going to have to sacrifice himself at some point to insure the rebellion will be successful, but this may not come about until next year. I'm off, so I will be tweeting you later!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner