Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The story of Bobby Sands, the IRA member who led the 1981 hunger strike in which Republican prisoners tried to win political status. It dramatises events in the Maze prison in the six weeks prior to Sands’ death.
Usually I need an emotional connection to be drawn into a film with as harrowing a subject as Hunger has. Once again McQueen proves that with his detached, clinical but unflinching style he still manages to achieve just that despite the distance between the audience and the film.
From the get go it is clear that McQueen will pull no punches. The prison and its inhabitants are gritty and rough. The violence is brutal and yet McQueen manages to inject humanity into both prisoners and guards. He doesn't seem to want to make a statement, he seems to be more interested in documenting a very troubled era in a nation's history.
At the centre of this is Bobby Sands (a…
Steve McQueen's feature film debut is a brutally intense, downright disturbing & extremely upsetting cinema covering the infamous Irish hunger strike of 1981. And while it makes up for a very difficult sitting due to its graphic depiction of the brutality that was inflicted on the prisoners, it also marks a terrific start to the directional career of one of modern cinema's boldest new filmmakers.
Set in Northern Ireland around the early 1980s, Hunger explores the life in Maze Prison where Republican inmates are protesting to regain their political status which was revoked by the British government a few years ago. After depicting much of the gruesome torture, the plot finally focuses on the events leading to the 1981 IRA hunger…
This is one of the very best films I've seen in a good while. It was Steve McQueen's debut? Fuck, I can't believe it. It's a beautiful, thought-provoking, haunting and brutal film. And I mean BRUTAL.
If, for some reason you are not yet convinced that Fassbender is one of the best actors working right now, watch this film and you will be among the doubting no more. He delivers a performance that should and will be remembered forever. Looks like he almost lost as much weight as Bale did for The Machinist. Ah, maybe not quite, but it's scary as hell.
There is a conversation that takes place around the middle of the film and goes on for almost half an hour. And it's gripping. It's nearly uncut, too. I think there is a shot that lasts about 16 minutes uncut. Amazing. Just do yourself a favour and watch this film.
PTAbro's World Tour Stop 1: Ireland
Finally, a prison movie that's not afraid to show the lighter side of incarceration.
Steve McQueen’s debut film is one of the forgotten little gems of the past decade. It’s a hard movie to watch. Like Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange it’s a movie that puts a mirror in front of us and shows all the wrongs and brutalities of our race. Violence will bring more violence and one day humans will reach a point that they won’t be able to solve their problems without using some violence against each other. Bobby Sands is representative of all men and women in the history who have sacrificed themselves for freedom and peace, and those are the states that will never be achieved easily. Their price must be…
"I have my belief, and in all its simplicity that is the most powerful thing."
I've noticed a trend in Steve McQueen's films. In Shame, Hunger, and 12 Years a Slave a sense of helplessness permeates the screen. McQueen subjects the viewer to a situation that's brutal, dark, and thought-provoking; and very much outside of the normal comfort zone for viewing a film. What makes these scenarios so affecting and emotional is McQueen's much-talked-about sense of realism. His camera is always unflinching, unafraid of long-takes, nudity, graphic violence, and disgusting scenery. It makes his films feel almost documentary-like in nature. It's easier to empathize with a realistic situation rather than a fanciful one, which is, in part, how he succeeds.…
Claramente "Hunger" é um filme mais humano do que político. O pano de fundo conta uma história extremamente importante, mas o enfoque maior da obra está na condição e no acto, e não na mensagem propriamente dita. A história decorre no ano de 1981, uma greve de fome que foi iniciada na prisão de Maze, na Irlanda do Norte.
Dividido em três situações distintas, primeiro acompanhamos o isolamento e a crueldade que estas condições detestáveis causam aos prisioneiros. McQueen então usa a sua veia artística (fortíssima) para realmente causar repulsa. Logo no início acompanhamos o sentimento claustrofóbico de um novo prisioneiro, que ao entrar na cela, a vê pintada de fezes até ao tecto, e agachado no canto está o…
Set around prisoners in Northern Ireland's "Maze Prison" during the 1981 hunger strike. The story follows the lead of prisoner Bobby Sands and his battle for basic human rights while locked up.
Director Steve McQueen holds nothing back in showcasing the darkest side of prison life, with details behind bars, and the all out brutality.
In films such as this I usually need to be able to feel, or relate to what the people and or singular person is going through, however I needed no attachment at all too watch Fassenbender masterfully become his character (Bobby Sands), thanks to a gritty, gloomy, prison setting where he could show just how good he is.
Hunger the full length film debut of director Steve McQueen is one that should not be missed!
Something that's going to take a while to digest.
Of course, immediately, you realize that this is a debut film from director Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave) and that it is one of the most impressive debuts ever for a filmmaker. On a technical level, there is nothing to think about, it's exceptional. And that's not even the best part of the film.
Fassbender is so good. I'm a fanboy, but I doubt anyone can seriously try to say he isn't a top tier actor after watching this. During the long, static take with him and Liam Cunningham, you forget you're even watching a movie. That scene is so well done and so convincingly acted that it almost…
Not knowing an awful lot about the IRA, let alone prominent figure Bobby Sands and his and his comrades' hunger strike in prison, this amazing debut of video artist Steve McQueen, was initially hard to connect to but once Sands was introduced, it had its hooks in me for good.
That's not to say the first, say, 30 minutes aren't interesting. On the contrary. The film is immediately fraught with meaning as we're observing a man who first religiously washes his bruised and bloody hands and checks his car for bombs before leaving for work. It turns out he's an 'interrogator' at a prison where IRA-members are being held, and mistreated. He doesn't blend in or socialize with the other…
Uncompromising and at times indigestible, Steve McQueen’s formidable first feature film is a harrowing, vivid reflection about the 1981 Irish hunger strike. McQueen’s intelligent command of the camera is just a triumph. Hunger relies on mood brought by McQueen’s stylistic vision. His disturbing, painful visions of oppression, and plea for humanity are translated into an enriching, thought-provoking piece of cinema.
The film is scattered with unforgettable, harrowing images of the inmates’ filthy conditions in jails, yet McQueen glimmers his grim artwork with hope by which his characters are solidly indefatigable. More so, Hunger’s incisive core can be summed up by the film’s brilliantly shot, long pivotal scene between Bobby and his priest. McQueen is terrific in staging that scene. So…
Not my cup of tea. I like slow films but this was like a train trying to travel. While on a boat.
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)