More (1969)

Oh Mimsy Farmer. I have watched you by menaced by the camera of Lucio Fulci in The Black Cat and Ruggero Deodato in Body Count, saw you deal with supersonic air travel in The Concorde Affair, wowed by racecar drivers in Hot Rods to Hell and The Wild Racers, ride with bikers in Devil’s Angels and get involved in giallo intrigue in Four Flies on Grey VelvetThe Perfume of the Lady in Black and Autopsy. So when some folks watch this and wonder, how could the hero have gotten into heroin because he was so in love with a girl, I just say, “Well, she was Mimsy Farmer. I’ve done much dumber things for much less breathtaking women.”

That protagonist is Stefan (Klaus Grünberg, The Grand Duel), a German college student who is taking a break and hitchhiking to Paris, where he gambles, robs a bank and meets the free-spirited Estelle (Farmer), following her to Ibiza and down the path of drug addiction.

The villain who provides the heroin to Estelle isn’t just any bad guy. He’s a former Nazi named Dr. Ernesto Wolf. Stefan thinks that he’s saved Estelle from him, but he’s only doomed himself to addiction when he believes that by doing the same drugs as her, he can hold on to her love.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve lived enough of this movie, trying to save unsavable women when really I should have worked on myself. This is not an easy admission to make. It’s none of their fault and all of mine, thinking that being a better person and making lives better really means love when all it means is misplaced devotion.

Roger Ebert had a great review of this movie, summed up best by this last line: “The message seems to be: Sure, speed kills, but what a way to go.”

More was the debut feature of Barbet Schroeder, who would go on to make Single White Female and another film that somewhat romanticizes self-destruction, Barfly. Here’s an interesting fact: those are all real drugs in the scenes showing Stefan and Estelle using marijuana, heroin and LSD.

This film also has a soundtrack by Pink Floyd, which was released as More and includes “The Nile Song,” “Cirrus Minor” and “Cymbaline.” The music only shows up in natural moments, overheard when cars have on their radios or when Estelle puts on a record. The band would work with Schroeder again — who is also the leader of France in Mars Attacks! — on his movie The Valley (Obscured by Clouds).

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