Before Francis Lawrence was directing Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the filmmaker was working closely with pop music’s biggest superstars.
Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and the Black Eyed Peas are just a few of the acts who called on Lawrence to direct their music videos over the last two decades, and for fans eager to see how Lawrence brings the beloved sequel to life, these five videos offer up some pretty solid clues.
Warning: spoilers ahead for non-book readers.
Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”
Capitol Couture, anyone? We think Gaga would feel right at home with Effie Trinket, Cinna and the Capitol gang (President Snow excluded), and based on her “Bad Romance” video, she may have already visited. Behind the futuristic clothing and shiny hardware lies an ominous undertone, and to be honest, the scene where she dances in front of a panel of men feels a lot like Katniss’ evaluation by Plutarch Heavensbee and his cohorts. Did we mention the fire?
Aerosmith – “Jaded”
Speaking of the Capitol — Mila Kunis reminds us of a jaded JLaw in this clip, as she’s forced to mix and mingle with Panem’s elite while the nation toasts her (fake) engagement. That said, Steven Tyler is a much more palatable host than Donald Sutherland’s Snow. Among the entertainment at Tyler’s shindig: fire breathers!
Jennifer Lopez: – “Waiting for Tonight”
Enter the Games with Jennifer Lopez’s 1999 tropical party (but BYO jungle juice, people). The beachy arena for the 75th annual Hunger Games (and third Quarter Quell) pits Katniss, Peeta, Johanna, Finnick and the rest of the tributes against a dangerous paradise and as far as looks go — this year’s virtual death trap is far more polished than the last. Coincidentally, there is also a clock in J.Lo’s jungle (albeit, one that counts down to the joyous occasion of a new millennium) and while Katniss may not do strobes — she does harness some lightening to powerful effect.
Nelly Furtado -“I’m Like a Bird”
Any “Hunger Games” fan worth their salt knows where we’re going with this one. Let’s first address the obvious: birds! Black birds and lots of them! Nelly Furtado’s feathered friends are far less frightening than the jabber jays of the Quarter Quell, but after watching Katniss melt down beneath a pack of squealing birds — we bet you’ll look at fowl a bit differently.
On the other hand, “I’m Like a Bird” further illustrates Lawrence’s ability to make ordinary landscape appear extraordinary. Though he remained largely true to Gary Ross’ original interpretation of District 12, the setting appears slightly less dreary this time around.
Britney Spears – “Circus”
Katniss’ and Peeta’s lives have arguable become a circus, though far less glamorous than the one Britney’s singing about. And what’s a circus without a little fire? Ms. Spears shakes her sparkling stuff amid a literal ring of fire in this 2008 clip.
“Catching Fire” opens November 22, but for more from Lawrence (and more fire!), you can check out the rest of his repertoire here.