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Hunger (1966)
"Sult" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  12 August 1968 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,610 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic

In 1890, Pontus, the starving writer, wanders the streets of Christiania, in search of love and a chance to get his work published. All he meets is defeat and suffering while his sense of ... See full summary »

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Title: Hunger (1966)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Per Oscarsson ...
Pontus
Gunnel Lindblom ...
Ylajali
Birgitte Federspiel ...
Her sister
Knud Rex ...
Landlord
Hans W. Petersen ...
Grocer
Henki Kolstad ...
Editor
Roy Bjørnstad ...
Konstantin
Sverre Hansen ...
Painter
Pål Skjønberg ...
Constable
Else Heiberg ...
Landlady
Lise Fjeldstad ...
Little girl
Carl Ottosen ...
Sailor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bjarne Andersen
Wilfred Breistrand
Osvald Helmuth ...
Pawnbroker
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Storyline

In 1890, Pontus, the starving writer, wanders the streets of Christiania, in search of love and a chance to get his work published. All he meets is defeat and suffering while his sense of reality is withering. One moment his is delighted and the next he curses everybody. All the time he manages to maintain human dignity and pride. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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money | writer | 1890s | daydream | hope | See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 August 1968 (USA)  »

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Hunger  »

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Begger's Banquet Napkin
28 February 2007 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Superficially, this is a collection of tableaux concerning a writer who is so caught up in the identity of a writer that he cannot write, and therefore is starving, both in terms of food, and in terms of the written product. Its actually pretty satisfying at this level. We get it. The character within gets no such nourishment but we as viewers do.

So there's a sort of twist built into the thing, we see a tubelocked artist and depend on an efficient artist to receive the art that conveys this. That means the manner of the way it is constructed matters, and that's why you may want to see this. Because its a complex calculation that the filmmaker has to make. There's a balance here between art that escapes the artist and art that doesn't.

I don't know the book, but presume it is rooted in internal dialog, noted here in a few spots with muted tones and the appearance of our artist as listener for his ramblings. But it is an afterthought in the film. The real center here is in the antiseptic stance we are placed in as viewers. We see but cannot touch. We always find ourselves just a bit beyond the perimeter of this man's artistic reach. Its us that cannot reach him, not he that has trouble reaching us.

Oddly, this reversal works. It may be just me and my deep obsessions with narrative agency, but I think a deliberate decision was made here as sort of role reversal and symmetric reflection at the same time. Its characteristic of Scandanavian film problemsolving.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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