With new prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes fresh out in cinemas, I, for one, have been prompted to start a Hunger Games rewatch.
If you’re not familiar, the first 2012 movie features a dystopian world in which our hero Katniss Everdeen enters into the titular Hunger Games, a brutal televised game show.
The Hunger Games selects two tributes from each district of Panem, the fictional landmas in which the series is based, via a lottery; they fight until all but one is dead, and the survivor wins.
In the 2013 sequel, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Katniss’ victory in the traumatic game starts to inspire an uprising against the Capitol and President Snow, leading to civil unrest and violent tensions between Panem’s citizens and its government.
As an apparent punishment and display of power, President Snow re-enters Katniss into another, completely devised Quarter Quell Hunger Games.
Recently, the TikTok account hiddenmoviedetails shared a fact that changed how I view the first movie forever ― “Did you know that in Catching Fire, for the first half of the movie, the film is shot in a 16x9 aspect ratio?” it begins.
“That means that there are black bars at the top and bottom of the screen” ― almost like you’re watching a TV show within a movie.
“It’s not until Katniss is raised into the arena [of the second Hunger Games game Katniss enters] that those black bars are slowly raised with her, and we get the full IMAX aspect.”
People were pretty impressed with the decision
”When I signed on to do the movie, I knew very early on that the arena portion would work very well with IMAX,” Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence said.
“The switch to IMAX hits you hard. It’s stunning.“
Some TikTok users commented on the genius of the moment, with one saying “It’s the most slay moment in cinema history.”
“I literally never noticed the bars disappearing, and I’ve seen Catching Fire maybe 30 times,” another commented.
“I always thought that scene looked different to the first half of the movie but I couldn’t figure out why,” yet another person said.
Well, I’m pretty astonished too ― may the ratio aspect be ever in your favour.