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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Francis Lawrence interview

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Interview by Rob Carnevale

FRANCIS Lawrence talks about stepping in to direct The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and which of the book’s themes resonated with him. He also reflects on filming some of the film’s more emotional content. He was speaking at a UK press conference…

Q. You’re new to the series. Going into it, what were your major ambitions of what you wanted to achieve?
Francis Lawrence: I think all my major ambitions came from the story. I was really taken by the fact that in this chapter of the series, we really get to dive into the major themes. The idea of the consequence of war and violence. We start to get to see the damage on the characters, and how the games have changed lives. It was interesting new territory for me. Plus, there was a lot more of the world to explore, and to build, and a new arena which was really fun to create. There was loads of fun stuff.

Q. It’s a very emotional film, how was that the film for you?
Francis Lawrence: It’s a weird thing, something that’s so emotional. It’s kind of rare when you see an entire scene come together live when you’re shooting it, and you can actually really feel it. It’s happened a couple of times for me, and a couple of times for Catching Fire. But it’s actually so technical, because you’re looking at the way punches are landing, and you’re thinking about making sure she’s safe, and how’s the sound working. There’s a lot of technicalities that take some of the emotion away when you’re doing it live. Ideally when you put the images next to each other in a specific order, then the emotion comes back.

Q. I realise it’s an entertainment, your movie, and based on the novel. But do you think it could power the debate on the NSA?
Francis Lawrence: I don’t really look on it that way, I think one of the things that’s interesting about the movie is that it really touches on a lot of the things that are topical right now. Whether that’s surveillance, war, violence, celebrity, the media. There are so many things that we can look at, and that the movie mirrors from our society now, The truth is, my focus, and I think what the story’s real focus is, is all about the consequence of war and violence. And how witnessing violence, partaking in violence, that it changes people. And damages people. And that there’s real loss. I really focus on that, but it doesn’t separate it entirely from that, because you can look at a lot of our society now and find themes within the movie.

Read our review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Read our interview with Jennifer Lawrence

Read our interview with Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright