When an event transcends borders—geographical, denominational, vertical and horizontal—and shakes us to the bone, you throw the norm out the window.
You do your best to make sense of the senseless.
In light of Friday's horrifying attacks in Paris, Lionsgate issued a statement Sunday announcing their November 16th Los Angeles premiere of [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866) will go on, but all interviews on the red carpet will be suspended.
Naturally, even the world we write about here on Moviepilot—the world of entertainment and pop culture—is touched by Friday's tragedy. And while all of us do our best to make sense of what's happened, and consider a world where atrocities like the ones we saw in France take place, some of us have even harder decisions to make.
Should the show go on? If it does, what kind of restrictions should be introduced, if any? Do we let fear paralyze us?
In what is easily one of the most anticipated movie releases of 2015, Mockingjay: Part 2 has two U.S. premiere events planned for this week: One in Los Angeles on November 16th, and another in New York on November 18th.
Here's the official statement issued by Lionsgate—their answer to the questions I just posed, at least for their Los Angeles premiere:
"Out of respect for the very recent events in Paris, we have decided to modify our red carpet and we will not conduct interviews at Monday’s 'Mockingjay 2' premiere. We will proceed with the rest of the event as planned in honor of the incredible fans who have always supported our films with such passion."
So the show will go on. With plenty of extra security, to be sure. All that will change—at least for now—is press interviews at the event. While it appears the beloved stars of The Hunger Games franchise will still take to the carpet and greet a fanbase years in the making, they won't be commenting to the Access Hollywoods, Entertainment Weeklys, or even the Moviepilots.
And that's the way it should be.
Would those journalists on the carpet point questions about the Paris attacks at the actors walking by? Absolutely. Would they be right to do so? That's a question we won't answer here.
But words can do harm. Even those with righteous or at least innocent intent. And the suffering right now is very real. So too is the fear.
Monday night—a premiere event that will be attended by mega-star Jennifer Lawrence and a huge, breakout cast—is a celebration of an international sensation that brought not just joy, but important political and ethical ideas to the table...an oppressive and violent force, and the notion that the media can play a critical role in the proliferation—or disintegration—of the oppressor.
But The Hunger Games is just a story. A fiction with themes and threads we can find in our own history. Its Downtown Los Angeles premiere is not a political occasion, an exorcism of our demons and a debrief on atrocity. And while the celebrities who attend Monday night should probably not be speaking on such matters, they'll likely find it just as difficult bandying back and forth about the trivial: Which designer they're wearing, best behind-the-scenes gag, what role next?
In this sensitive and nuanced stroke, Lionsgate has both answered the call of a fanbase that deserves a starry sendoff, and separated "church and state" where it's best left separate.
Let Monday night be a monument to the spectacle of The Hunger Games. Let the fans have their thrill, and save the heavy questions for at least one more day. The sadness we feel and the answers we seek aren't going away. They'll be right where we left them, in Paris.