More

More. 1969.

  • Director: Barbet Schroeder
  • Duration: 117 minutes
  • Genre: drama-en
Synopsis: Stefan is a German student who hitchhiked to Paris, where he meets Estelle, an American girl he falls in love with. One day, Estelle leaves Paris and Stefan follows her to the island of Ibiza. Here he discovers that she is related to a former Nazi who has a great influence over her. Stefan and Estelle will soon be immersed in the drug scene.

Commentary:

‘More’ is one of the most important and well known films that was shot in Ibiza. In 1969, during its debut in France it was a huge box-office hi, advertising the name of the island and helping to set it as the destination of choice for followers of the hippie movement, becoming a cinematic icon of the counterculture of the late sixties. Although much of the popularity it had back has faded and is now remembered due to the famous rock group Pink Floyd having composed the soundtrack, ‘More’ is nevertheless a film of remarkable artistic quality.

The story of ‘More’, that narrates the self-destructing drug course of a man in love with a woman, is slightly inspired by a personal experience of the French director and screenwriter, Barbet Schroeder, along with some people he knew. As an exorcism, Schroeder himself appears in the final scene of the film, accompanying the coffin in which lies the body of an overdose victim, Stefan, the main character. Schroeder buries his own character, symbolically burying a part of his biography.

Most of the script for ‘More’ was written in the winter of 1967 by Schroeder at a restaurant in Port Vila. The filmmaker knew of Ibiza since 1951, the year her mother bought a house on the island located in the town of Sant Antoni. The house was built in 1935 and belonged to the Swiss painter Alexis-Louis Roche, a family friend of Schroeder. In ‘More’ there are several scenes filmed in this house, which at times, served the purpose to show the destructive process of the two main characters through the eroding texture of the house itself, whose simple beauty did not go unnoticed by the audience of the time, as seen in this article published in Diario de Ibiza, in November 1969: “The Promotion of Tourism received a letter from France asking to rent the house or chalet appearing in the film ‘More’ shot on our island. He wanted to rent it during September 1970. ‘More’ is a film which we have already spoken about previously here. It discusses the drug problem and has been recently released in France. According to Pilar Narvión from the newspaper Pueblo from Madrid, the island has a splendid and magnificent color in the film. The owner of the house is aware of this. If he wants, he can have the house rented in September 1970. ”

In addition to several scenes shot at the family home in ‘More’ they also filmed some in the Le Corsaire hotel, located in Dalt Vila. The establishment was opened in 1954 and its first owners were the couple Anna Von Osterburg and René Fonjallaz, who also had a house close to Schroeder’s mother in Sant Antoni. Fonjallaz was a Swiss writer who had belonged to the Nazi party. In ‘More’, the hotel Le Corsaire appears as Ernesto Wolfs headquarters, the drug trafficing Nazi character. The hotel was also used as a residence for the film crew while they were on the island.

‘More’ was filmed in Paris, Ibiza and Formentera in 1968. The shots filmed in Pitiüses were recorded during the months of October and November. The film was done in secretly due to the presence of different scenes including sex and drug use. In Schroeders feature film you can find full nudity and a shy sexual threesome between a man and two women, controversial elements at the time. However, the most controversial aspect of the film was the raw and uncommon way to film the drug use. According to Rafael Heredero, author of an interesting book about censorship in Spain, erotic and drug scenes, did not appear in the script that was submitted to the Commission on Censorship, therefore his shooting was authorized on the islands without any caveats.

The two Spaniards Carlos Durán and Néstor Almendros were involved in the production. Duran was a filmmaker associated with the School of Barcelona, in ‘More’ he worked as a production assistant. Among other functions, Duran was given most of the extra parts in the film. Coincidentally, one of them was the American writer Clifford Irving, who, in ‘More’, appears throwing daggers. Subsequently, Irving would be one of the protagonists for Orson Welles’s documentary, ‘F for Fake’ (1973), known for including a lot of footage of the island.

Néstor Almendros was the director of photography on ‘More’ and also served as art director. Almendros’s impact on this film boosted his career enormously, making him one of the best cinematographer in history. In his book ‘Días de una cámara’ (1982), Almendros says that to film the night and twilight scenes, he smuggled in ten coils of ISO 100 film from the brand Kodak, which at the time wasn’t manufactured in France yet. He also used mirrors to bounce sunlight, getting a natural lighting and without distorting the colors. The press highly praised Almendros for the films photography.

In 1969 ‘More’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Critics Week section, receiving excellent reviews. Due to censorship in Spain, it was not screened there until 1977. Ibiza being the first place in the Spanish territory to be seen.

Commentary written by Enrique Villalonga, head of the production company Filmótica.

References:

ALMENDROS, Néstor. Días de una cámara. Editorial Seix Barral, Barcelona, 1982.

HEREDERO, Rafael. Censorship of the script in Spain: Requests for filming permits for foreign productions between 1968 and 1973. Ediciones de la Filmoteca, Valencia, 2000.

Diario de Ibiza. November 19, 1969.

Enrique Villalonga’s interview with Barbet Schroeder. April 5, 2013.

Related

  • TECHNICAL DETAILS

  • Producer Les Films du Lonsange (France) y Jet Films (Luxemburg)
  • Director Barbet Schroeder
  • Photography Néstor Almendros
  • Art Direction Néstor Almendros
  • Edition Denise de Casabianca
  • Music Pink Floyd
  • Sound designer Jack Jullian y Robert Pouret
  • Casting Mimsy Farmer, Klaus Grünberg, Heinz Engelmann, Michel Chanderli y Henry Wolf