Less is More
New to DVD, More (1969) marked the directorial debut of Barbet Schroeder. The co-founder (with Eric Rohmer) of the French production company Les Films du Losange, Schroeder produced the omnibus feature Paris vu par... (1965) and some of Rohmer’s early shorts. (He was once an aspiring actor: you can see him in the lead in Rohmer’s La Boulangère de Monceau and in a bit part in Jean-Luc Godard’s Les Carabiniers.) A “drug film” in the era of Easy Rider and sundry American International exploitation movies, More drew some positive notices from New York critics but failed elsewhere and soon vanished. (Thanks to an excellent soundtrack recording by the then-unknown Pink Floyd, the film resurfaced briefly in the 70’s on the midnight show circuit.) Slow and deliberately paced, Schroeder’s film never aspired to the histrionics of such paisley parables as Psych-Out or The Trip, and thereby alienated its core audience. (That along with the ridiculous X-rating it was given for subject matter and nudity.) Following a young man’s descent into heroin addiction, Schroeder handles much of it verité style—and faces an awkward dilemma once scenes demand dramatic embellishment. Not having seen the new DVD, I don’t know if they’ve reinserted the drug stew recipe that’s been missing for years from the audio track. But it may be worth investigating, if just to check out the Néstor Almendros images of Paris and Ibiza; the Paul Gégauff screenplay; and an appropriately paranoid performance by Mimsy Farmer.