Certain short films are important not for their narrative content, but precisely because they try to reject the rigors of a conventional story, while adopting an almost poetic style, focused on sensations and on severe feelings. ‘Hunger‘ is one such example, and even though it tackles a fairly popular theme in world cinema – drug addiction – it still succeeds in capturing the viewers with its atmosphere similar to a contemporary Gothic novel. Mark Dollard plunges with his impressive short film into the troubled mind of a young man overwhelmed by “hunger”, the urgent need to get a dose, in order to catch the spectator in a blend of emotions and visceral psychological states.

 

Everything takes the form of an agonising journey through desolate landscapes of human degradation in which the director creates a metaphor for addiction, translating the gesture of consuming into a vampiric act. Thus, in this living nightmare, the main character is pursued by the ghoulish incarnation of his own obsession; the motif of the evil double becomes the central element that materializes the character’s struggle with his own demons. Perhaps for some viewers this choice is not necessarily the most original, but regardless of everyone’s prejudices, the way in which the director depicts it is really commendable.

 

In fact, this project certifies through the quality of its cinematic substance not only a mature and resourceful artistic sense, but also some admirable technical skills. Mark Dollard is, at the same time, an aesthete who manages to give this nocturnal tour a tangible sensory concreteness by operating an electric chromatic, of an almost metallic hardness, and the principles of an alert editing with the talent of a fully prepared director ready to approach much more ambitious projects. Obviously, we don’t want to say that ‘Hunger’ is a superficial short film; on the contrary, it has the impact needed to fascinate anyone with the consistency and coherence of its atmosphere, but it whetted our appetite to see how the artistic vision behind it will amaze us with a more elaborate story.

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