France, 1993, DVD, 14 min.
France, 2010, DVD, 24 min.
Luc Moullet is not fastidious. More and More, which began its life as a document of the new, big box grocery stores in France, is an odd, cartoony observation of architecture, plenitude, and service economies. The result is not faultless, but Moullet has never been shy about his inability to make faultless and complete reports. Humor and exaggeration are the joint deities of these two films. “Analysis, opposition, reflection, all methods are good. I prefer exaggeration: the careful accumulation of uninteresting elements provokes a certain dizziness, a source of beauty and humor, which allows us to beat the modern world at its own game and anticipate its absurdity.”
The film critic Andy Rector wrote, “More and More reminds me of something André Bazin said of another film: ‘it was more moving in its flotsam, snatched from the tempest, than would have been the faultless and complete report,’ I think the tempest in More and More would be something awful and unfilmable as a whole.”
As a follow up to More and More, Luc Moullet made Less and Less with the film students of La Fémis in 2010. “The indispensable complement was missing, Less and Less, my 40th film. It evokes in 14 minutes the development and expansion, from 1968 to 2010, of the devices based on computers, automats, and interactive terminals found almost everywhere. The aim of our current system appears to be to employ a single individual in each sector of activity. We are not there yet, but we’re getting there… A schizophrenic world, since we have to pay the price for these suppressions in indirect ways….”
Luc Moullet was born in 1937. He grew up in the French sticks, the son of a mail sorter and a typist, started writing for Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1950s when he was in his teens, and he’s still a critic today. Only a fraction of his writing has been collected, and even less is available to those of us trapped in English.
Thanks to Ted Fendt and Andy Rector these films now have English subtitles.