I first saw Mark Osborne’s short film More a long time ago. I feel I must have seen it on television, late night, maybe as part of MTV’s Liquid Television or some other venue for short, dark, inventive films. It was late, I was tired, and the film burned itself into my memory.
And then that memory was buried for years.
I thought of the film again when I started dating Megan and we were fresh into the Show Each Other Everything We Know Of That’s Cool stage of our relationship (that, in truth, has never really ended). It took me a while to find because I didn’t remember (or never knew) who the filmmaker was and I couldn’t remember the title. All I remembered was that it was stop motion, and it was dark, and the music was haunting.
It is still haunting, and it is still dark, and it is still haunting.
Yesterday I watched Guy Ritchie’s Revolver, a movie that made me angry partly because of its underlying philosophy, partly because it didn’t hold together as a movie, and partly because it was a parable trying to pass itself off as a movie (while if it had just been a parable, it might’ve worked).
Mark Osborne’s More is a parable. But Osborne manages to make the viewer empathize with the main character almost immediately. The story is simple, and so there’s nothing left for the viewer to do but to be caught up in the emotion that’s effectively underlined by the repetitive, looping music.
I think of More a lot because I sometimes feel wrapped up in that mentality myself. For example, I’m only a writer because I write, so if I’m not writing, then I’m not a writer. I’m only a successful writer if I’m being published, and so if I’m not being published then I’m not successful. And past successes only whet my hunger for future ones, and diminish the reward for those successes that repeat.
I’m trying to get another book of poetry published, and if I do then I’ll be very happy. But I already have a book of poetry published, so another book won’t mean as much as, say, the production of a play or getting an agent or having a novel out in the world.
As Megan continually reminds me (and for which reminding I’m very thankful) I am essentially living my dream at this moment. I’ve lots of time to write, because I’ve a job that’s very flexible and that pays well. I’m consistently getting published and/or good comments on what I’ve written. I’m moving ahead, albeit (it seems) very slowly, but, more importantly, even if I weren’t moving ahead careerwise, I am writing what I want to write, and perfecting my craft, and that is really what I want a career for: so that I write what I want.
As More illustrates, you can get everything (you think) you want, and still not be happy.
Here’s a more cleanly rendered version of More set to a DJ Shadow song so you can see the detail in Osborne’s art.