Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More (Barbet Schroder, 1969)

More, Barbet Schroder's directorial debut, is the kind of film that screams out to be remade, and one that I would definitely do were I a filmmakeer (oh, one day!). It is the story of the sixties fading into the seventies, psychedelics into hard drugs, innocence into jaded hipness, complete with an original Pink Floyd score. It is the story of Stefan, a naive German student, hitchhiking through Europe, who meets Estelle, a New York art student who takes him to Ibiza. They smoke a lot of pot, and, eventually, Estelle's heroin habit resurfaces, and they both become addicts in this idyllic fantasyland.

Stefan arrives in Paris, where he hitches a ride with Charlie, with whom he becomes fast friends. Charlie takes Stefan to a party, where he meets Estelle. Charlie tries to warn him against Estelle, saying that she has ruined men before, and that Stefan would be wise to stay away from her, but he doesn't listen and falls for her immediately. They meet up a few days later, in a ridiculous scene where Stefan smokes pot for the first time, and decide to go to Ibiza together, being young, beautiful people with nothing better to do. When there, they stay for a while with Dr. Wolf, a friend of Estelle's father who is also probably her lover (it's left ambiguous in the film), but decide to run away to the countryside when Stefan gets jealous of Wolf. In the process, Estelle steals 200 doses of heroin from Wolf, along with some money, and Wolf pursues and eventually finds them. By that time, they are both heroin addicts, living this spaced out life in paradise, and my favorite scene in the film is when Stefan (formerly a righteous anti-drug person, now a heroin addict) and Estelle attack a windmill, a la Don Quixote. It's a beautiful, quasi-romantic version of drug abuse, but, like in Neil Armfield's Candy (that owes a debt to More), things go terribly wrong, as their relationship sours and Estelle eventually does lead to Stefan's downfall, as Charlie predicted.

The dialogue is, at times embarrassingly, typical of the time, with the philosophies and wonders of drugs espoused by these young people, who came of age in the time of the hippies, but are looking for something more. It is an ageless tale, one that resonates with me even now; looking for a better life through illegal substances, and thinking you can change the world with them. This is a film that should be more widely seen, despite some definite ties to the time, as the story is timeless, and the characters believably tragic. It's a film I would remake, most definitely.


RIYL: Rohmer's Six Moral Tales (of which Schroeder was a producer)

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