I cannot sit still, it’s just something I’m unable to do, or never have been able to do. Blame my diagnosis of ADHD at the age of seven, blame the nervous feeling that’s coursing a path underneath my skin with each and every breath I take. Or, most of all the fact that I’m sitting in the theater that has housed the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for several years, and is currently hosting the domestic premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Yeah, that one might be the reason I have the constant urge to change position in my seat, and no– I do not have to pee.
Row H, orchestra level, The Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, that is where I am seated at the moment, and I know the giant room is about to go dark, because I am watching Lenny Kravitz saunter by appropriately clad in black leather, and seating himself somewhere very close by after the head of Lionsgate Studios has introduced the principle cast up on the narrow stage at the front of the house. The room finally blackens, the screen flickers to life– the film begins, and I’m sure I’m holding my breath as I see Katniss Everdeen poised on a rock by an icy, winter lake. The film runs, the story unfolds, and I’m transfixed whilst continuously moving in my seat, taking my shoes off and stifling a cry of a relief as the cuts that have taken up residence on my toes, ankles, and heels are exposed to the air in the darkened theater. I don’t care that the person to my left is a stranger, because the person to my right isn’t, so I hike the uncharacteristically me short skirt of my Flapper era dress up, and place my bare feet half in and on the cup holder molded into the plastic seat-back in front of me. My thought process is this, if I’m going to be here for over two hours, in the dark, I may as well get comfortable, and I don’t give a damn that more thigh is exposed than I’ve shown in public since my vacation to Florida last June, besides I’m no lady– just a girl with a mixed background, and a college education. By the time Katniss and Peeta are giving their speeches to the people of District 11, I can already hear my aisle-mates, whom most of which to my right, are people I’ve known for years, well– they’re breathing starts to hitch. So, when that ever changing moment happens in District 11, not only do the people in the aisle I’m in and the one in front of me, lurch with emotion, but I do as well. “This is not the fucking Hunger Games.” I think to myself, my mouth open, and taking in Jennifer Lawrence losing it on screen, as Woody Harrelson is once again after pitch perfectly playing in a previous scene, the surly drunkard Haymitch Abernathy, the one that was acutely missing from The Hunger Games, is allowed to embody the forthright, and the smart Haymitch I remember reading in the novel Catching Fire so many years before.
When the final moments of the film play out, and the room takes in the pained, and then the resolutely, determined face of Katniss Everdeen becoming The Mockingjay Plutarch Heavensbee had called her a few moments before, I sit back in my seat, and feel satisfied. This was a feeling that was absent the last time I was in this room a year and a half before. A year and I half is a long time, but I sat back and felt hollow in all the wrong ways, and felt like something was wrong with me. Since then I’ve come to terms with that feeling, and learned that the feeling was disappointment, pure, unadulterated disappointment in directorial choices that I had no control over at all. But now, dress hiked up, Coldplay playing over the sound system, I feel like how my current state of dress comes off, unabashedly satisfied. The only problem now is that I now have to put my shoes back on, and try not to make a fool of myself in front of the people who were in, and made the film, at the After Party. But that’s a story for another hour on a different day.
To Be Continued.
Them There Eyes