‘1001 Grams’: The measure of life

May 14, 2015


I am a big fan of Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer. The Norwegian films of his that have made it to American screens – “Kitchen Stories,” “O’Horten” and now “1001 Grams” – reveal a miniaturist dealing in microcosms that reveal the world.

In the case of “1001 Grams,” it is the world of weights and measures, a subject to which most of us probably never give a thought. We take it for granted that the scale at the deli or the pump at the gas station are correctly calibrated and barely notice the little stickers they all bear, indicating that, in fact, someone has made sure of their accuracy.

Marie Ernst (Ane Dahl Torp) is one of the people who applies those stickers, after first measuring against her own government-approved standard. Her life is about precision, things neatly contained with easily understood units of measure. (More…)