Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Hunger Games: A Cinematic Literary Nerdgasm? (A.K.A. How I Never Saw the Last Harry Potter Film)

Don't worry. There are no spoilers here so feel free to browse this post at ease.

Chances are that if you are reading this post in the first place, then you are probably familiar with the novel's plot, but I'm not cruel enough to ruin a great reading experience for someone else.

If you haven't read Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, well, then, what are you waiting for???

After having consumed every word of this novel, I kid you not, my literature-major self wanted to sit down and write a 12-page historical-perspective essay on why this book rocks (that's a sure-fire indication that what I read had a positive effect on me)I'm very stoked about its movie premiere this week and plan to see it with some friends of mine.

I don't like going to the movies alone. Going to the movies with other people is the way nature intended things to be. How else will you relish discussing with others whether or not the film you saw was a cinematic masterpiece or a total way for conning you out of your cash unless they, too, were also a witness to the event?

(If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?)

I also like attending with others to movies that have been specifically based on books. You may not think it but such a determining event can be a fragile experience for a bibliophile. In the hours we spend reading about the wonderful descriptions, adventures and daring feats of our favorite characters, we develop an attachment to what they look like and, ultimately, who we believe they are. What if in the movie, the persona who we conjured as being strong, intelligent and independent is reduced to a silly, walking stereotype that is the complete opposite of who they are supposed to be? This is no longer about watching a movie. This is about having an image shatter and leave us with crushed spirits. It becomes personal.

In case I end up being devastated that yet another movie adaptation didn't do justice to a great book and its characters, I want to have someone be there to hold my hand, stroke my hair and assure me that everything is gonna be all right.


The fear of an awful letdown is probably why I haven't even considered seeing the latest movie version of Jane Eyre. It's my favorite novel of all time, and based on various movie reviews from friends, it is an instance in which ignorance is bliss.

In all reality, I shouldn't be too worried because The Hunger Games trailer looks promisingly spectacular in the sense of staying true to the book.



March 23rd, come faster!

That being said, not every movie outing has resulted in me watching a film. I never saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Not because I couldn't find a friend to go with. I went to the movies with a French friend, a guy who came to visit me from Lyon and who towers a foot above me (that's 30 cm for you metric-system users). We had a good three hours to kill in Dijon before his evening train departed and since neither of us had seen the last installment of the series, we decided to watch it at one of the cinemas.

The showing that we could feasibly make it to had already commenced by ten minutes, but we figured that the trailers would allow us to catch the beginning and therefore not let us miss any vital scenes . We paid our tickets and were let into the theater.

At this point, you may be wondering how, then, was I unable to see Harry Potter if my friend and I paid for tickets?

To our surprise, we were the only ones who had the intention of wanting to see the movie at that hour. Not that we were complaining. In that desolate sea of plush, burgundy armchairs, we had the finest pickings for optimal movie enjoyment.



What was curious to us was that nothing had been turned on, not even the trailers for upcoming movies.










A few minutes passed and the French-dubbed Harry Potter never flickered on the blank screen.

We inquired at the ticket booth what was going on.

Ticket Booth Lady: "Oh, since no one was in the theater when it began, we decided not to run the reel."

Me: "Huh? But...we paid to see Harry Potter..." *waves torn stub*

Ticket Booth Lady: "Here's a refund." *hands cash*

My Friend: "Wait, so, you can't find someone to turn on the reel for us to watch it?"

Ticket Booth Lady: "No."

Me: "Um...thanks."

And that's how I never saw the last Harry Potter film. My friend and I instead went to a café and chatted about life and I accompanied him to the train station when he needed to head back to Lyon to bid him good-bye.

I'm hoping that the local movie theaters will be a little more generous when I go see The Hunger Games.

Also:



Katniss makes archery look so cool.

Barb the French Bean

28 comments:

  1. I'm so excited for The Hunger Games! I read all three books, and right now, those books are in circulation to through like 5 of my friends.

    My girlfriend and I bought tickets to the movie 2 weeks ago. The only thing that sucks is that I have to wait until the 24th to see it.

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    1. I've been saving up my moolah to see get the sequential books! Maybe those will be a birthday present for myself. :D

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  2. I stopped watching the Harry Potter movies with the fifth one. The fifth was my favourite book and they had already ruined them too much for me by then, I didn't want that last bit of my innocence shattered. Also I've not read the Hunger Games yet but I do plan to.

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    1. Come to think of it, I watched Harry Potter to the fifth movie as well. Maybe there was a reason for me to have missed seeing the last film after all. :P

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  3. Wow, I can't believe they didn't run the reel for you! RUDE.

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    1. I know, but that's Franceland for ya.

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  4. You know the hunger games sounds very similar to Battle Royale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Royale

    tsk tsk tsk.

    -Hanny

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    1. Oh, stop being such a sourpuss and read the novel. It's GOTTA be better than "Twilight." :P

      -Barb

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    2. Who said I was being a sourpuss? I'm just saying there is a similarity between both books that's all.

      -Hanny

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  5. I've only read the first Hunger Games book, and it was because a friend pestered me too, but yes I'm looking forward to as well as afraid to watch the movie! It really is such a fragile business watching a movie adapted from one of your favourite books. And that story about how you missed the last harry potter was hilarious and random haha!

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  6. I'm a bit weird because some books (JANE EYRE) I feel should never ever be adapted to film while others (the Garth Nix Abhorsen trilogy) I would kill to see on screen.

    I'm pretty excited about the Hunger Games movie! Although I wish they'd gone for a tougher rating.

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    1. I know, right? Considering how violent some passages are, I'm surprised the movie received such a "tame" rating.

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  7. I'm looking forward to this movie! When I first read the book, I remember thinking "I hope they never make a movie out of this". But now that they've made one...I'll definitely be watching it.

    And to the OTHER bean, yep it's similar to Battle Royal. And even to a few Stephen King novellas. But it's still a great read!

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    1. Awaiting the cinematic adaptation of a novel is both daunting and exciting!

      *I'm so excited/And I just can't hide it/I'm about to lose control and I think I like it/Ooh-wee!*

      Sorry. I had to sing there. :P

      -Barb

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  8. I LOVE the way you write, and I totally agree with every word. First of all, I too find that having someone to discuss it with is half of the fun, therefore nature did indeed intend for us to watch films with a friend, and I'm very sorry to hear about your harry potter experience! And you put it so well about the characters one falls in love with in a book; I always get really sad if they're not how I imagined them to be, and I hate hate hate it if they change key things about them from the book to the film. With regard to the hunger games though, I think the casting is really good and I have high hopes for this film that it will do justice to the amazingness that is the book!

    xoxo

    http://twentytwoandtalkingtrends.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment! It's nice to see I'm not the only one who gets attached to literature characters as well. :D

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  9. I have read all 3 books. They are awesome.

    I will see the movie. Probably alone. Whoever will I discuss it with?

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  10. I'm looking forward to this movie also. If this becomes the next fad (like Harry Potter), I'm more than okay with this. Especially if it wipes that awful abortion Twilight off the map. How that made it among great stories like these I will never know.

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    1. I dunno either, but it has certainly spurred a slew of novels classified as "Teen Paranormal Romance." So, yay? >.>

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    2. I went to Barnes & Noble just yesterday, and no joke -- there was an entire section called just that! Like 4 or 5 shelves worth of books. I'm not sure how to feel about it being so huge that it warrants its own section outside of Teen proper.

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    3. Or its own Romance section, to boot. :P

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  11. Oh goodness. I'm so excited for The Hunger Games! I have to admit though...my heart broke a little when I read that you haven't seen the last Harry Potter. I ADORED the books, and so yes, I was one of those picky people when the movies came out. ("HARRY'S EYES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GREEEEEEN!") But I ended up LOVING them all. I highly recommend getting yourself caught up. The 7th movie(s) were quite well done considering how crazy HUGE and involved the book was. That all being said, I totally relate to this post, and I love your stories. As always. :)

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  12. Hehe. I had a similar thing happen to me. With my parents we bought tickets to see Robots. We sat down in the cinema. The movie even started but two mins in they shut it all down because they thought no one was in there.

    Later I saw the movie on DVD and realized I we had not missed anything.

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    1. I hate those sort of disappointments...--.--

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Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb