When Life Needs A little Distraction
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Hunger

Hunger

$19.99

Just as Knut Hamsun's novel, Hunger, considers what it means to starve for one's work, Danish director Henning Carlsen's film adaptation of Hunger portrays the story’s protagonist as an inscrutable man whose eccentric dedication to literature costs him his health. Hunger, the first Scandinavian co-production to represent Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in its making, takes place in 1890's Christiania (Oslo), where Pontus (Per Oscarsson) perseveres homelessness and starvation to write articles for a local magazine editor. Filmed in grainy black and white, Hunger is as thoughtfully subtle as an Ingmar Bergman film. Pontus's washed-out hallucinations recall The Seventh Seal, while his preoccupation with the lovely Ylajali (Gunnel Lindblom), whose name he invents because of the way the name rolls off his tongue, recalls the romanticism of Wild Strawberries. Scenes showing Pontus considering how to steal bones from dogs, or pleading with his boots to stay on his feet, capture his self-inflicted tragedy, while other scenes depicting citizens refusing to help Pontus earn money elicit sympathy for his plight. Watching this film alongside Hamsun, a wonderful biography of the author, shows similarities between the author and his most famous character, Pontus, not due to Knut Hamsun’s poverty or sketchy mental facility, but rather his undying commitment to skepticism and literature. Hunger, however, quiets those personality traits, making Pontus as sensitive as he is uncompromising. --Trinie Dalton


Special Features

  • 34 minute interview with director Henning Carlsen
  • 26 minute filmed conversation between author Paul Auster and Regine Hamsun, granddaughter of Knut Hamsun
  • Henning Carlsen filmography
  • Extensive stills gallery

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