If you’re scratching your head over that last part of the headline: We’ve heard from various sources that The Hunger Games will in fact run for a tiring 142 minutes. Hey, if they’ve got a lot of story to tell…
Discounting this bizarre facet, the past week or so has found yours truly changing his tune on The Hunger Games, with there even being a small leap from “complete and total lack of interest” to “a smidge interest on account of good buzz.” Such minor feelings of affection are more or less sustained by Lionsgate’s new clip, in which Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) takes up a bow & arrow (in what others describe as a training process for the titular competition) and shows off some skills to the Capitol brass by way of an unlucky apple.
Then there is the soundtrack. I was as surprised as anyone when The Hunger Games‘ collection of musical participants turned out to be incredibly solid — Arcade Fire, T-Bone Burnett, The Decemberists, Taylor Swift, Glen Hansard, and The Civil Wars have all decided to put their names on this franchise through the power of rock.
A good impression notwithstanding, anyone who knows me is well aware that Arcade Fire‘s contribution would, by far, be the most anticipated of the bunch. So I’m giving thanks to EW for debuting the first of their two songs, “Abraham’s Daughter,” which is now available for our listening pleasure.
Band frontman Win Butler told the outlet that, when crafting the song, “I tried to put myself in the headspace of how excited I’d be if this film was coming out when I was 15. I still remember hearing Radiohead’s ‘Exit Music (for a Film)’ in [Baz Luhrmann‘s] Romeo + Juliet when I was that age.”
And here’s what he said about the context behind “Abraham”:
“Our whole approach was to get into the world and try to create something that serves the story and the film. There’s something in the story of Abraham and Isaac that I think resonates with the themes in the film, like sacrificing children. So we made a weird, alternate-universe version of that, where it’s as if Abraham had a daughter — kind of a metaphor for Katniss.”
They took a similar approach with their other track, “Horn of Plenty,” having produced something that would be able to serve as “an anthem that could be playing at a big sporting event like the Games.” It left such a big impression on James Newton Howard that he even incorporated parts of it into the final score. To be perfectly frank, that’s kind of neat.
You can listen to it below:
The large ensemble cast also includes Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Dayo Okeniyi, Amandla Stenberg, Jack Quaid, Leven Rambin, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Ian Nelson, Kalia Prescott, Ethan Jamieson, Tara Macken, Chris Mark, Jacqueline Emerson, Ashton Moio, Kara Petersen, Sam Ly, Leigha Hancock, Samuel Tan, Mackenzie Lintz, Imanol Yepez-Frias, Annie Thurman, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Latarsha Rose, Brooke Bundy, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones, Amber Chaney, Kimiko Gelman, Nelson Ascencio, and Donald Sutherland. The Hunger Games opens on March 23rd.
Do this clip or this song alter your expectations for The Hunger Games in any way?