Because the Capitol TV propaganda film (aka The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer) wasn’t released until very late US time, we didn’t get the chance to do an Airtime Assault as we had planned. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions about this latest Mockingjay release! In the spirit of venting our bubbling emotions, we decided to write down our reactions to the video, instead.
So here’s what we thought of it! Be sure to comment and tell us whether you agree with us or if you think we need our heads checked for thinking this way. With such a large staff, we had plenty different reactions even among ourselves! 😉
The video was released while I was asleep, so I was one of the last to watch it, and I think I still haven’t processed through it yet. It might take a while. What I can say, though, is that when I woke up this morning to my fellow staffers’ messages that the trailer had been released, I actually got nervous. Really nervous. I told myself I’d watch it when I got to the office, and then when I did I think I put it off for 45-odd minutes because I was just too nervous to hit play. But when I did… CHILLS. As soon as the music started. I actually kept pausing it because I just needed to react (I live-tweeted a 1-minute-long trailer. Yes, that is how far gone I am). But just the music alone gave me goosebumps. It sounds like something out of an inspiring sports movie– think Rocky and such– which just adds to the overall creepiness of it. And then Snow started talking about how good the Capitol is and how grateful the districts should be for their food and protection, and I am literally screaming at my computer screen by this point. Seeing the word “sacrifice” immediately made me think of the first propaganda video they did for the first movie, and it gave me goosebumps. And then there was Peeta. I wasn’t surprised because I saw a screencap online when it leaked (thanks for that, internet. /sarcasm), but the cap was blurry and I didn’t expect to get so many feels from his mere presence… but I did. Conflicting feels, too, because on the one hand it hurts because I don’t want to see the Capitol using my bb Peeta, and on the other, I really, really wanted Lionsgate to show us the Capitol using Peeta… If that makes any sense. Simply put, I expect the movie to push the ambiguity of his motivations until it’s finally revealed that he’s only doing it against his will. Anyway, to summarize, I LOVED IT. Yes, I wanted to see Coin, and yes, it doesn’t really seem like a real trailer (it doesn’t even say the name of the movie!), but I think the creepiness comes across whether you know The Hunger Games or not– and like a good sci-fi thriller teaser, it might just be enough to have some non-readers intrigued. I’m more than satisfied. Now bring on the next one!
This video was beautiful and powerful and full of creepy wonderfulness. If this had been released back in say like January, I would have only good things to say. As part of an on-line marketing campaign, it blows Capitol Couture out of the freaking water, and I really do love it. But as the only footage we’ve gotten with less than five months before the movie is released? Meh, I’m underwhelmed. If this is shown in theaters as a “teaser trailer”, fans will adore it, people vaguely familiar with the story will be like “that’s kinda cool”, but people who don’t know will be like “WTF is this and why am I suppose to care?” That’s just my opinion anyway. It’s great for internal marketing toward the fanbase, but this close to release day, I want something more.
What? Is this it? That looks like… Yay. It’s Peeta! Peeta is okay. *Sigh of relief.* Wait. Peeta’s highjacked eyes. Not Peeta… No!! Must go curl up in a closet like Katniss. Wait what is that at Peeta’s throat? Rewatch. O.M.G. That’s a sharp thing at his throat so he has to hold his head up and not say anything. Eeek! Rocks back and forth. What did I just watch? Wait a minute where is some movie footage?? I want movie footage!!
You know those unfortunate situations where you are starving with nothing to eat, and then the first food you find – no matter what it is- is the BEST thing you’ve ever eaten. I feel proverbially speaking, this is what happened here. Everyone loves this Panem Propoganda bit because of the news drought, but I was surprised when I felt not only at how dissatisfying it was but and off-tone it felt. Maybe it’s just me having really big expectations, but let me explain myself further.
Normally you kick-start movie hype with your big guns a.k.a. a teaser trailer and then use videos like this one to keep people baited along the way. Lionsgate must really be pacing themselves here, especially after such a big news drought, and it seems off-beat with my own expectations as a fan. The only moment where the Capitols true heart of violence and dominance is able to shine through is when President Snow remarks, “If you fight against it, it is you who will bleed.”
The video itself has an interesting tone to me. The light piano music and camera sequences remind me of one of those “The More You Know” commercials and it lost its overbearing, big-brother, strong-armed feel. It was like the same awkward and forced-feeling equivalent to Katniss doing her in-studio Propos, except it is the Capitol who missed the mark. The sensitive and soft side just don’t have a precedence with the image the Capitol has left in our minds.
Understandably, they could have been going for a juxtaposition, but even that gives it the feeling of “1984” doublethink with the featured words “unity”, “prosperity,” and “sacrifice.” (All ironic because of District division, starvation and scarcity, and indulgence on the Capitols part made possible by the sacrifice of children’s lives in the arena.)
In my imagination I’ve always pictured the Capitol casting the same shadow as predominantly Nazi-regime mixed with Orwellian sub-features. I found myself a little confused and surprised at how the overall residual feeling of the Capitol Propoganda strayed towards the opposite: predominantly Orwellian and psychological with undertones of Hitler’s Germany. So I’m left feeling confused and at the same time intrigued as to how this will all “Pan”em out.
Lately I feel like my relationship with Mockingjay has been like that friend who moved away and every time you text or call they never respond, so out of bitterness you decide to not need them anymore even though you actually really do care. How’s that for a depressing analogy? My point is after this long, neglectful spell of time, I felt like I deserved an apology from Lionsgate in the form of a blood-pumping, brain-exploding trailer. Instead we got a snippet clip that put a whole new meaning to teaser trailer. It’s like Lionsgate asked me, “Do you want a hug? Yes? Well how about you stand way over there and I will wave to you.” I wanted up closer and personal! Gimme more!
Okay. I spoke my peace. Here is where I reel it back in an remember to be thankful for all the lovely THG related memories of old as well as the joyful moments soon to come. So the propaganda film was very interesting considering the circumstances. I actually really loved getting some insight into how the Capitol will visually try to manipulate Panem’s citizens. President Snow is extremely cunning. His voice is deceptively soothing and I find myself almost wanting to sip the poison that is slithering out of his bloody mouth. Even the crisp, commanding white decor of the shot makes me forget about the true colors of war, (red-the blood of angry men, black-the dark of ages past).
When I saw Peeta I immediately pored over his face for any signs of bruising, and there were none to be found. He looks away from the camera for almost the entire clip until the last seconds of President Snow’s recitation of the Capitol motto, “Panem today. Panem tomorrow. Panem forever.” That touch was particularly disturbing considering Peeta’s simple, empty glare cues us of his tampered psychological state of mind.
And one last small comment from me. When the camera zooms in on President Snow at the end of the video, the bottom of the Capitol’s seal extending behind Snow’s “throne” resembles a pair of outstretched Mockingjay wings, which just makes me all the more anxious to see Kantiss interrupt the shit out of this Capitol propaganda.
Word of this teaser coming dropped when I was waiting in the car to go to a family dinner, which turned out to be a surprise baby shower for me, so I’d been joking that I’d have to sneak away to the bathroom to watch President Snow’s address. In the end though, it didn’t go online until almost four hours later, just when I’d gotten home! I’d made myself wait and avoided all the leaks I could to see it in full HQ and boy was it worth it! The full white, Snow’s voice, his casually veiled threats, and POOR PEETA all gave me chills. The part that got to me the most by far on first viewing was when he turns his head to look at the camera, which almost screamed to you, “I’m with the Capitol.”
To me, this is a far more treasonous “statement” from Peeta than his interview with Caesar ever was in the book and so for that I highly commend Francis Lawrence. I think I mentioned in Through the Pages that I’ve never really understood why Coin and District 13 were intent on condemning Peeta. When faced with something like this, though, you can completely understand their fears when hearing Peeta will be pardoned.
On my fifth viewing, I started to finally process all the other details. The way the Capitol seal comes out of the white wall at the end is just spectacular, and notice how at the very end, Snow’s positioned right in front of where the Capitol ‘C’ on the Capitol seal is, as if to say, “I am the Capitol. And so is Peeta.”