More (1969 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Barbet Schroeder|
|Produced by||Barbet Schroeder|
|Story by||Barbet Schroeder|
|Music by||Pink Floyd|
More is an English-language drama-romance film written and directed by Barbet Schroeder, in his theatrical feature film directorial debut, released in 1969. Starring Mimsy Farmer and Klaus Grünberg, it deals with heroin addiction as drug fascination on the island of Ibiza, Spain. The film was made in the political fallout of the 1960s counterculture. Featuring drug experimentation, "free love", and other references to contemporary European youth culture.
The film screenplay was written by Paul Gégauff and Barbet Schroeder with the original story by Schroeder. Art directed by Fran Lewis and Nestor Almendros. It features soundtracks written and performed by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released as the album More. Schroeder's inspiration for the film came from the counterculture tradition of the 1960s with themes of drugs, addiction, sexual freedom and the beauty of life often in New Wave films. Real drugs were used in scenes showing the use of marijuana, heroin, and LSD. Production began in 1968, and the film was partially funded by Jet Films and executive produced by Les Films du Losange with a low budget.
Upon its release on August 4, 1969, More achieved critical acclaim. It was selected to be screened in the Cannes Classics section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival at Buñuel Theatre. On April 5, 2005, a DVD version of More, was released by Home Vision Entertainment.
Stefan (Klaus Grünberg) is a German student from Lübeck, who has finished his mathematics studies and decides to have an adventure to discard his personal commitments. After hitch-hiking to Paris, he makes friends with Charlie (Michel Chanderli) while playing cards in a Latin Quarter, and they decide to commit a burglary to get some money. At a swinging Left Bank party, Stefan meets a free-spirited-beautiful but elusive American girl called Estelle (Mimsy Farmer) and follows her to Ibiza. The two become lovers, with an atmosphere of easy sex, nude sunbathing and lots of drugs.
He discovers Estelle is involved with a former Nazi called Dr. Wolf (Heinz Engelmann). Borrowing a villa from a hippie, Stefan saves Estelle from Dr. Wolf only to find she does not really want to be saved, and she introduces him to heroin (referred to by the old street name, "horse"), which she has stolen from Dr. Wolf. Stefan is initially against Estelle using heroin, but having used it previously, she persuades him to try it. Soon Stefan and Estelle are both heavily addicted to heroin. They try to break the addiction using LSD and initially manage to stay clean.
However, after a while they are both using heroin again. Unable to break free of the addiction, it quickly spirals out of control leading to Stefan's death.
- Mimsy Farmer as Estelle Miller
- Klaus Grünberg as Stefan Brückner
- Heinz Engelmann as Dr. Ernesto Wolf
- Michel Chanderli as Charlie
- Henry Wolf as Henry
- Louise Wink as Cathy
- Georges Montant as Seller (uncredited)
The French film censorship board in 1969 insisted that some of the dialogue be censored around the 81-minute mark before the film could be released. In the film, as the couple mixes up a hallucinogenic concoction in the kitchen, the ingredients "benzedrine" and "banana peel" are deleted from the audio track. On the DVD the words have been re-added as subtitles.
Music and soundtrack
His [Barbet Schroeder's] feeling about music for movies was, in those days, that he didn't want a soundtrack to go with the movie. All he wanted was, literally, if the radio was switched on in the car, for example, he wanted something to come out of the car. Or someone goes and switches the TV on, or whatever it is. He wanted the soundtrack to relate exactly to what was happening in the movie, rather than a film score backing the visuals.
The soundtrack from the film More has some typical instrumental jams. "The Nile Song" which, quite out of character for Pink Floyd, borders on the Stooges-like heavy rock, and a ballad featuring bongos called "Cymbaline"; written by Roger Waters but performed by David Gilmour. In the film, when Estelle gets out of her bed in her apartment in Paris, she puts on a record and changes her clothes, shouts "Groovy!"
Upon its release, More garnered mainly negative reviews from film critics, and was controversially reviewed by audiences and scholars, who commented on the drug use and impacts. In later years, the film has since received critical acclaim. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval audience rating of 72% based on 954 ratings, and 3 reviews with a rating average of 3.6/5. At AlloCiné, which assigns a weighted mean rating to reviews, the film has a score of 3.7 based on 37 critics.
With regard to the film's overall design, Roger Ebert stated, "More is a weird, freaky movie about two hedonistic kids who destroy themselves with drugs. More precisely, it's about a kinky American girl who destroys her German boyfriend and in the process destroys herself ... The message seems to be: Sure, speed kills, but what a way to go."
The film was released by The Criterion Collection under Home Vision Entertainment section in April 5, 2005; and a Blu-ray as a single disc variant with a single DVD disc version was released on September 19, 2011, from the British Film Institute.
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