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More (Pink Floyd soundtrack) Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Thursday, 08 September 2011

Pink Floyd soundtracked More - Blu-ray/DVD dual format editionBarbet Schroeder created a sensation when his controversial first feature More, boosted by Pink Floyd's involvement, opened in 1969, and it quickly became a cult classic. Arriving on Blu-ray for the first time on September 19th 2011, it is released by the BFI in the UK, in a Dual Format Edition (a DVD is included in the case) along with a newly commissioned documentary on the story behind it.

The film is famous for its subdued, moody Pink Floyd soundtrack, featuring some of their most loved songs from that era, including Green is the Colour, Cymbaline and The Nile Song.

This new release is presented in both High and Standard Definition, and features a Director-approved High Def transfer from original film elements. There's also Making More (2011, 17 mins, DVD only), a newly commissioned documentary on the story behind the film, theatrical trailers for Schroeder's More, 1972's The Valley (which also has a Floyd soundtrack) and 1975's Maîtresse, and the package is completed with an illustrated booklet with new essays, biographies and notes on the soundtrack. We've taken a good look at the Blu-ray to see what sort of package the BFI have produced...

The synopsis of the film is as follows: "With his exams a distant memory, German student Stefan (Klaus Grünberg) burns his bridges and hitchhikes across Europe in pursuit of adventure and the warm southern sun. Seduced by the offbeat crowd he encounters in Paris – among them the shyly seductive Estelle (Mimsy Farmer) – Stefan is soon flying dangerously close to disaster."

Such a description gives little notice and warning about what is to come as the film unfolds. Given an "18" certificate by the BBFC (British Board of Film Certification) due to the "frequent drug use", the film also includes a fair degree of male and female nudity. So, not one for the kids, clearly!

It's a sobering and quite sad tale of the downward spiral experience by the couple as they experiment with different substances (Stefan in particular seems to suffer with his clearly additive personality) whilst absorbing themselves into an Ibizan summer. Ibiza itself has a rural feel, with the areas used in the film still largely untouched by mass tourism. Stefan travels to the island in search of what he feels is missing, and finds this first in Estelle, then in the drugs he is introduced to.

A definate cautionary tale, the couple's decline is clearly marked and very well portrayed, and More remains as powerful today as when it had it's release in 1969. Pink Floyd's music is heard throughout the movie, and unlike Obscured By Clouds, the songs are given a lot more prominence and airtime. Whether used during a party, or for Estelle to dance in the sun to, the music can be heard clearly (the main draw to this film for Floyd fans, we assume).

The 1080p, 24 fps Blu-ray (which is not region-locked and therefore suitable for worldwide use) shows what a decent job has been done with the master. The transfer itself was supervised and approved by Barbet Schroeder from the original 35mm interpositive. As with the BFI's previous release (La Vallee/Obscured By Clouds) colour and detail are finely tuned with no obvious sign of any edge enhancement or compression artefacts. There is a fair degree of grain throughout, which would have been present on the original film - there's a large amount of ambient or natural light used throughout in the darker and indoor scenes, which keeps it all very atmospheric. Ibiza in the late 1960s looks most attractive and is a good glimpse of what the island was like before the package holiday overwhelmed it.

It's clear to see why this film is so respected, and why it quickly became a cult classic. It's not an easy experience watching the decline of Estelle and Stefan, but it is a film that is well worth viewing. A great job has been done on the audio and video side of things, making this an upgrade worth making for those who may already own earlier DVD editions which suffer from using a poor master. Those able to play the Blu-ray edition will enjoy the richly detailed and vibrant picture, a major step-up from the earlier DVD. The DVD in this set doesn't carry any region coding, like the Blu-ray, so can be used worldwide (please note though, it's in PAL format).

ORDERING INFORMATION:
You can place your order for this keenly anticipated release through Amazon UK, Play.com, or Zavvi for delivery on release. At time of writing, Amazon is the cheapest for this Blu-ray.

 
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