MONTAGE

Montage definition: 

Is where a series of shots are cut together to convey many ideas in a short space of time. Here it is used to give us a strong sense of what life is like for the people in the districts. The repetition of images of abject poverty is to give us the idea that they are all living and suffering the same. They are living on the edge of existence, and the shaky camera reflects this urgency

Next is a close analysis of the montage in scene one (which is shown during Katniss’s journey from her home to the meadows): The non-diegetic sound during this sequence, is slow and melodic music, to emphasise their sad, dreary, mundane lives. The editing is fast paced to which adds to the camera shakiness to emphasise the urgency of their situation. A hand-held camera is used to disorientate/destabilise (make them feel unsteady) the viewer so that they get the impression of the instability/ shakiness of the very existence of these residents of district 12. The cutting between each shot is fast paced to show they all experience the same living conditions.

First shot

woman carrying buckets shot 1

A Medium Shot (MS) depicts the bottom half of a woman dressed shabbily in worn, dirty, colourless clothing (which emphasises they are washed out and old), carrying two old tin buckets of water. This highlights:

1. We are being shown through this image, that there is no running water in the districts. Contrast this with the fancy showers they have in the districts (which Peeta talks about in his interview with Caesar Flickerman before he goes in to the games, when he says ‘”Now tell me, Caesar, do I smell like roses to you?”. Also the water being used during the preparation of the tributes (see the breakdown of Cinna’s team for more detail).

2. Menial jobs are around the house are done by woman, as the men are away working (old fashioned values, where the men work and the woman look after the home and children).

3. They are getting ready for something which requires water. The use of this water is shown later in the montage.

4. They have no access to plastic buckets as no one in the districts has plastic. There is however, plastic in the Capitol which is shown by the plastic toy sword the young boy plays with.

5. The mise-en-scene in this shot shows dilapidated, unpainted, uncared for wooden buildings (this emphasises their lack of money or energy (they have little food) to repair buildings) ; a rusted bike, which is a symbol of both their lack of possessions and how their lives have deteriorated since ‘the treaty of treason’. (they must have once been able to ride bikes); overgrown dead grass, showing no modern surfaces such as roads or paths;  and logs that highlight the fuel they use to keep them warm and cook (to reinforce the fact there is no gas or electricity).

Second shot:

woman looking out of window shot 2 

A medium shot (MS) of a woman staring, in a melancholic (feeling thoughtful and sad) fashion, out of a broken window which is missing two panes of glass. Again, her wooden home is unkempt and full of neglect, which, coupled with the other images compounds the feeling of decay and neglect in the district. The fact that this home is open to the elements (the wind and rain) strongly emphasises the lack of ability to fix the problem, as it must be a constant source of discomfort for them.  This suggests that the people of the districts are unjustly treated by the people of the capitol, who seem to have an abundance of wealth, when they don’t even have their basic needs met.

This is shown by the possessions that the people of the capitol have in comparison to the district people such as: their clothing, facial expressions and mannerisms. For example: Effie Trinkett, who is from the Capitol, wears a bright pink/purple outfit, wears multiple accessories –including a parasol – and wig; her tone of voice is shrill and high pitched compared to the dull dulcet tones of the suppressed district people; her mannerisms of indifference towards the district people are made clear through her lack of empathy towards their situation, as she shouts in a happy tone: “Happy Hunger Games!” – this is an oxymoron (two words put together that clash) and echo the American saying “Happy Holidays!” “Happy” means to be contented which contrasts with “Hunger” which suggests a need for food.

Third shot: 

woman washing clothes shot 3

The camera cuts to a close-up (CU) of a woman’s hands washing clothes in a tub. This is to highlight both that this is done by hand (there are no washing machines here, whereas in the Capitol they have an array of modern amenities, including some futuristic technology such as: the hover craft, the ability to create holographic animals that can kill etc); and that the clothes are being washed in preparation for the Reaping.

Fourth shot: 

woman hanging out washing shot 4

A long-shot (LS) is then shown of another shabbily dressed woman hanging out clothes on a makeshift clothes-line tied between her house and a tree. The clothes-pole is made of a tree branch which again reinforces the lack of availability of products (this again is shown through what is for sale in their illegal market place The Hob: old buttons, old radios, berries etc.). She too is lost in her sad thoughts that is shown through her melancholic expression (sad face). The clothes are washed out and shabby, and probably their only clothes.

Again, there is a rusted bike in the picture to show that many of them previously  had bikes (this could suggest a time when they had more money and freedom before the ‘treaty of treason’)

Fifth shot:

2 boys half dressed shot 4

tilts down to show them playing in the mud shot 4

The cut to the medium-shot of two small topless boys playing in the mud reinforces the previous image, as it suggests that these small boys are having their (only) clothes washed so that they will be presentable for the Reaping. The fact that they only have one set of worn out clothes highlights their abject poverty and shows the cruel and unjust way they are treated.

They having nothing better to do than play, sadly, with sticks in mud which signifies their lack of toys.

Sixth shot: 

shot 5 miners feet tilts up to a mid shot of their legs

shot 5 pans to reveal more faces 3

The camera then cuts to a medium shot of the men, in a group  walking at a quick pace to their  work at the mines carrying tin pails. It tilts up to reveal their faces panning across to show that all have the same ingrained miserable expression on their faces, that reflects their downtrodden miserable existence.

Seventh shot:

shot 6 long shot of Katniss with miners in background

Cut to Katniss running head on to the camera, with the miners in the distance. The next long-shot (LS) shows Katniss running towards the camera with the miners in the distance. Further in the distance there are smoking chimneys of industry, that echo of the past (many people during the industrial revolution would have lived in similar hovels and lived the same life of poverty). The electricity pylons are also obvious, but that is only for the capitol’s benefit and not for the use of the district people.

Eighth shot:

shot 7 of two kids

Cut to a close-up (CU) of a young boy and girl looking out of a large hole in the wall of a wooden house, with shocked looks on their faces, which could be due to the general anxiety that Reaping day brings to all in the districts, when two people are about to taken from them as tributes.

Ninth shot:

shot 8 woman on verandah resting after washing

A low-angled long-shot (LA, LS), first of Katniss as she runs past an older woman sitting with two tin basins in front of her, on a balcony of a shabby run down house. She looks like she has just finished washing and is taking a break whilst she contemplates the harrowing day ahead.

Tenth shot:

shot 9 the dog  

Cut to a dog tied up by a fence, probably to stop it running away/or getting in the way, on such an important day. How does this tied up dog compare to the pampered ‘pink’ pooches that we see in the Capitol?

Eleventh shot:

shot 10 blurry close-up of old man trying to get all the meat of his bones 1  shot 10 blurry close-up of old man's face  shot 10 what the old man is eating

shot 10 pans across to reveal cu of pile of bones

The hand-held camera is more erratic and a bit blurry at times as it cuts to a close-up shot of an old man, crouched outside a rundown wooden house eating from a tin plate. The camera erratically cuts to bones entirely free from meat to highlight that no food is wasted, signifying that there is very little food. This is also reflected by the hurried manner in which he is eating, which suggests both that he is hungry, and that has not eaten for some time.

All are meant to emulate (which means to look like), or give the impression of a district that is stuck in a past time. There are no signs of modernity. Their industry of coal-mining seems to be stuck in the times of the industrial revolution as there has been very little progress in terms of their amenities (gas, electricity, modern technology). The only time modernity reaches the districts is when the people from the capitol ‘visit’ (when they are putting lighting and screens up to show the Reaping, arriving by hovercraft, or through the peace-keepers with their guns and radios. The need for the pylons is shown when Katniss reaches the Fence. A high voltage sign is used to show the audience that the fence is electrified to keep the people of the districts contained within.

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