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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > Existential > Foreign > Sweden > Norway > Denmark > Hunger (1966)

Hunger (1966)


Picture: B-†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: C†††† Film: B



Based on the novel by Knut Hamsun, Per Oscarsson is Pontus in Henning Carlsenís 1966 film adaptation of the novel Hunger.The protagonist is an artist and finds himself in a world where he cannot assimilate, no matter who he talks with and what he tries to do.Suffering because he will not compromise, this existential trip begins where he still has the energy to believe that he can reach even the simplest of satisfactory connections and contact.


As the film slowly goes on, he is tormented by those in authority (one police officer constantly hounds him when sleeping outside homeless) and enough things happen no matter what that it is apparent that he cannot even find his own private space and solitude.There are some clever fantasy/dream sequences where he imagines he has found some sense of happiness and contact with the best persons, but they do not last.Every time he returns to consciousness, things get slowly worse.


This is nicely directed and cast, with very good acting all around.I like the look and feel of the film, its uses of silence and how it just flows with not a moment wasted.It is a smart film without any pretension, putting the viewer in the artists place without phony manipulations or illicit appeals to pity.This is a mature, adult work that has only become better with age all the way to the ending, which will cause debates to those who really think about it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 pillarboxed, black and white image was shot by Henning Kristiansen, D.F.F., and it looks pretty good.Detail is not bad, gray scale decent and the print is in good shape as well.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age and there are times when there is little sound to boot.Extras include a stills section, Carlsen filmography, 38 minutes long on-camera interview with Carlsen and 26 minutes interview with Regina Hamsun, Knut Hamsunís granddaughter by Paul Auster that goes on and on.However, the film is solid and Hunger deserves to find a new audience who wants more in their films.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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