More

1969 ***1/2 116 mins.

I first became aware of this film via the soundtrack album by Pink Floyd. Their albums More and Obscured by Clouds are both soundtracks to films directed by Barbet Schroeder. They're obviously not very well-known films this day and age, and they're kind of hard to come by. When I finally did get a copy of More and gave it a viewing, there were a lot of things about it that I really liked, but there were also some things I felt dragged the film down. The film is almost a 1960s hippie version of the Icarus myth. Our lead male character, Stefan, falls in love at first sight with a young woman named Estelle, played to perfection by Mimsy Farmer. While Stefan is played rather two-dimensionally and a bit stereotypically (on purpose, for sure, as this isn't a drawback to the film; I don't mean it as such), Estelle is a richly-developed character who is a sort of hippie femme fatale. While Stefan appears more brazen and abrasive, Estelle is more subtly controlling and domineering. The dynamic of their relationship is the true heart of the film, and these two characters are incredibly vivid. More is one of the first films to deal with drug addiction in a cautionary way, and it's startlingly effective. Schroeder directs the film in such a way that you get the full blast of the situation without needing to show you all the excess. Even Pink Floyd's incredible soundtrack seems to be used only sparingly, its appearances only marked by being played on radios, cassette players, record players, etc. The real drawbacks to the film are its nearly two-hour runtime, which is easily 30 minutes too long. The film seems to drag on forever, and more concise editing and story structure could have helped this tremendously. The film is beautifully shot, especially for the low budget the filmmakers worked with. Maybe in time I will revisit this film and this review, but for now I'll let it rest.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Not Rated; contains frequent drug use and nudity.

Starring:
Mimsy Farmer + Klaus Grunberg + Heinz Engelmann + Michel Chanderli + Henry Wolf + Louise Wink + Michael Gothard

Screenplay and Dialogue
Paul Gegauff + Barbet Schroeder

Final Version of Dialogue in Collaboration with
Mimsy Farmer + Eugene Archer + Paul Gardner

Original Story by
Barbet Schroeder

Directed by
Barbet Schroeder


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