Hunger Games clip makes an impression

Lionsgate Films has released another new clip from its upcoming sci-fi thriller The Hunger Games. Warning – some spoilers follow.

The clip depicts the first meeting of Katniss and Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz, who now seems perfect for the role. The context here, if you’re not familiar with the story, is that Cinna is Katniss’ personal designer. 

The hunger games event, each year, brings in two teenagers, one of each gender, from each of the 12 districts of Panem, and forces them to fight to the death in an environment of their choosing. The gamemakers assign a fashion and design team to each district, so that they can be made to look more interesting for the audience.

Cinna, in the novel, is a first-timer at this event, and is put in charge of the 12th district because they are expected to fail anyway, and so it will serve as good training for him. Fortunately for Katniss and her partner, he doesn’t exactly see it that way.

As it turns out, Cinna is a fashion genious, and makes her into ‘the girl who was on fire’, by putting her in a skimpy red dress and setting her alight with a cool-burning gel. It allows her to make a great impression on the audiences when they first see her, and her relationship with Cinna continues to improve from there, as she finds him to be one of the most compassionate and caring people in the capitol city.

The scene here comes almost directly from the book, with a slight exception. Here Cinna seems to say he wants to buck the system, and do something different. In the novel, he talked instead about working within the system to do something surprising. An important distinction, since fighting from within the system becomes a major theme of the story. Katniss is from the coal-mining district, so designers often outfit the District 12 teens with fancy versions of coal miner’s gear, or simply slather them with coal dust, and leave them otherwise naked. Cinna wants, instead, to represent the true power of coal, the fire.

The most recent synopsis released for the film is thus:

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Also, here’s the trailer for reference:

Due to early ticket sales, The Hunger Games is already a successful picture, and the author of the books has come out in direct support of the adaptation, now that she’s seen it in its entirety. It’s shaping up to be a pretty big win for Lionsgate, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon confirm an adaptation of the second book.

The Hunger Games, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Josh Hucherson, hits theaters on March 23, 2012.