Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blog 2 - Catching Fire

            I scored the movie Catching Fire with the Representation Test and it got the grade of B. I chose to score this movie because the main character on the movie is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and that was going to give me more points. However after analyzing the movie and answering the test, the movie got roughly 9 points, which gives it a grade of B.

            In the Women section, the movie scored a 4 out of 8, which is not bad. It got this grade because the main character in the movie is a woman and there is a number of other female characters who aren’t only represented as “objects for the male gaze” and who pass the Bechdel Test by having two or more named characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. This is supported by the many scenes where we can see how Katniss Everdeen is a strong character who fights for her district and defies the Capitol’s norms. This shows us that she is intended to be more than just a “male gaze”. Even Octavia, who gives an idea that she is going to be a male gaze when she strips in the elevator, is more than that. She eventually unites with Katniss to fight against the rest of the tributes and she takes a bigger role as the story goes on. The scene where Katniss and her sister Prim talk about how Katniss changed everything in the Capitol after winning the games and gave hope to everyone in the districts is another example of how two or more female characters talk to each other about something other than a man. However, the movie lacks in having a woman of color, diverse body types and a protagonist woman over the age of 45.

            In the Men section, the movie scored a 3 out of 4, which is good. It got this grade because the movie does include a man of color who is not reduced to racial stereotypes and it includes a man in a non-stereotypical role and avoids perpetrating an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men. This is supported by the character of Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) in the movie. He is a man of color and he is a makeup artist and fashion designer, which is very different to the stereotypical roles of men in movies. We can clearly see this in many scenes where he talks with her about her makeup and the original outfits he designed for her to wear. Also, the diverse and healthy body types of man body types don’t perpetrate an extreme or unhealthy body ideal for men. However, the movie doesn’t avoid glorifying violent men because the people who won the games were “glorified” in the capitol and they were usually violent people and that’s the reason that they won.

            In the Race, Ethnicity & Culture section, the movie scored 1 out of 1 because the movie avoids celebrating offensive racial, ethnic, and cultural stereotypes by breaking them. The different culture in the Capitol and the districts, and the diverse roles portrayed by the characters supports the idea of the movie avoiding the stereotypes.

            In the LGBT People section, the movie scored a 0 out of 3. It had this score because there were simply no characters portraying a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person reduced to stereotypes. There are arguments that Cinna is a gay character in the movie. However, the movie never lets us know if he actually is. It is true that he uses makeup and has an unusual role for a man but actually a lot of the men in the Capitol use makeup because it was a cultural tradition for them and the fact that he is considered to be gay for his role is simply a stereotype. Therefore, since there is no actual evidence for this argument, we can conclude that the movie doesn’t have an LGBT representation.

            In the People with Disabilities section, the movie scored a 0 out of 3, which is bad for the test. It got this score because neither the protagonist nor any other character in the movie is disabled.
            Finally, in the Bonus Points section, the movie scored a 1 out of 8. It got this score because the movie only has a female writer, Suzanne Collins. In the rest of the categories it is lacking female representation, a person of color, LGBT representation and a person with disabilities.

            The Representation test does a good job indicating if the movie is representing a diverse cast. However, I feel like this kind of test is not fair for grading a movie simply because of the fact that 99% of the movies won’t be able to represent all of the sections, specially on certain genres. Movies will usually focus on a few of the sections but most of them will not represent all of the sections in the test. For example, an action movie or a horror movie won’t have disabled characters because the roles needed for these movies usually involve running and other actions. Therefore, a way in which this kind of tests could be improved is by making instead of one, create a few tests which would be focused on a specific genre of movies. This will let us score movies better with more appropriate sections and questions.


  1. I loved reading your analysis of this movie! I love this movie and have always thought of it as really giving women justice by having a strong female character. According to your test it did do pretty well in the women section, definitely better than a lot of other movies but there are definitely areas where it is lacking as well.

  2. I really liked your view on this movie. I think Katniss is a great role model for women, and that she is a strong character. I also think that the movie scores as low as it does because there are so many qualifications that have to be fulfilled. I think there should be different tests for different genre's and types of characters, because it is unfair for the expectation to be that every movie should love up to a specific standard in every category. The movie scores almost perfectly in the women department, but doesn't even register with the LGBT side of the exam.

  3. Great insight for Catching Fire, especially because it is a movie with a female lead. It shows that a movie can be carried by a female and have her be shown as a powerful and developed character.

  4. Couldn't agree more with your post and the comments above. The Hunger Games movies in general are a good representation of film makers attempting to branch out and include women in more than just their stereotypical roles and Katniss is a great example. Clearly the movie didn't receive an A but, like I mentioned in my post, an A is very hard to achieve and a B is a step in the right direction.