Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in the world of Panem, and land rife with civil unrest. 74 years ago Panem, which is split into twelve working-class districts and one wealthy capitalist Capitol, was host to an uprising, during which the unruly numbered districts were defeated by the Capitol’s military powers, and during which District 13 was destroyed. As penance for this act, every year the Capitol holds an annual Hunger Games, for which a boy and girl aged 12 to 18 from each district are randomly selected, trained, presented to the public and thrown into a specially made arena to fight it out to the death, until only one player survives. Katniss lives in District 12, and the when her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is picked in her first draw, Katniss volunteers in her stead. Her male counterpart is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a baker who only tangentially knows Katniss. Katniss asks her friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) to look after her sister and emotionally frail mother (Paula Malcomson). Continue reading →
I listen to a lot of podcasts. A lot. I’d estimate I spend about 7 hour of each working day listening to them, with an additional hour or so in the morning and evening before work, walking the dog and such, so I get in a lot of listening. I’m subscribed to maybe 30 or 40 shows, most of which are film-related and most of which I try to listen to every episode of, postponing the occasional few until I’ve seen the specific films in question, but there was one show, one that’s not film-related, which I’d heard a great deal about last year but never got around to listening to until this past week, and that show is Serial.
If you’re unfamiliar, the first season of Serial, released last year in 2014, was a twelve-part show documenting the re-investigation of a reporter, Sarah Koenig, looking into a murder trial from 1999 in Baltimore, Maryland. A man, Adnan Syed who in 1999 was _ years old, was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, but always denied the charge. Koenig was contacted by Syed’s family. who fifteen years later were still adamant of his innocence, and after a little digging Koenig found some interesting inconsistencies within the evidence of his case, prompting her to re-evaluate every morsel of information from the case. I downloaded the show when it gained popularity, but knew its serious content deserved my full attention. Last Friday I found myself at work trudging through a fairly monotonous task, so I decided now was finally Serial’s time. I marathoned six shows that day, and the latter six earlier today. Clearly, from the off I was hooked.
The case was fascinating, and it was truly interesting just listening to how the proceedings took place, how the evidence was gathered and the cases built. Too often I assume the depictions shown in films and TV are overly dramatised, and for the most part they are, but listening to this true life documentation I got a far greater insight into how these kinds of cases are really handled. I’d hoped for a more satisfying conclusion, but it was still a highly informative and gripping listen, and I’m very much looking forward to the next series, whenever that may come. Now, onto what I watched this week: Continue reading →