7.5/10
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18 user 19 critic

The Falls (1980)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 24 July 1996 (France)
92 BBC documentary-style shorts that record the lives of 92 victims of the VUE (Violent Unexplained Event), each with last names beginning with "Fall."

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writer:

Peter Greenaway
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Westley Peter Westley
Aad Wirtz Aad Wirtz
Michael Murray Michael Murray
Lorna Poulter Lorna Poulter
Patricia Carr Patricia Carr
Adam Leys Adam Leys ... Narrator
Mary Howard Mary Howard
Sheila Canfield Sheila Canfield ... Narrator
Evelyn Owen Evelyn Owen
Hilarie Thompson ... Narrator (as Hilary Thompson)
Carole Meyer Carole Meyer
Monica Hyde Monica Hyde
Colleen Thomas Colleen Thomas
Neil Hopkins Neil Hopkins
Dewi Thomas Dewi Thomas
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Storyline

The planet has been affected by a mysterious occurrence known as the Violent Unknown Event, or V.U.E. It has caused immortality and disability. Victims have learned new and peculiar languages. Some firmly believe in the responsibility of birds. In this three-hour film, ninety-two biographies are presented of victims whose surnames begin with the letters F A L L. Presented in the mock documentary style of 'Water Wrackets' and 'Dear Phone', this is the culmination of the first period of Greenaway's work. It refers to shorts such as 'A Walk Through H' and 'Vertical Features Remake', and forwards to the likes of 'Drowning by Numbers' (there is reference to the three generations of Cissie Colpitts). Michael Nyman's sound-track is memorable; he later remade the 'Bird List Song' (which features in a variety of forms), as 'Hands 2 Take' with arty British band the Flying Lizards (best known for their minimal version of 'Money (that's what I want)'. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cinema | disaster | mutants | parody | bird | See All (14) »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Dutch | French | German

Release Date:

24 July 1996 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Balesetek krónikája See more »

Filming Locations:

Abersoch, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the location work for this film was done in the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales, and Peter Greenaway received extensive help at this time from members of the local Film Society. In gratitude, he offered to allow them to give the film its first-ever public screening as the first offering of their new season. The fact that it was a world premiere received extensive publicity, as did Greenaway's presence on the evening, and the committee of the society made it a members-only event to bolster their finances. As a result, on the night of the showing, the Lleyn Film Society had more members than ever before, but the actual showing of the film proved something of a disaster - audience members began walking out after only twenty minutes or so, and by the last half-hour of the film (which is over three hours long), the only people left in the auditorium were Greenaway and the committee members. Subsequent showings of the society were poorly attended. See more »

Connections

References Sparrows Can't Sing (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

absolutely different
5 June 2000 | by bernie-25See all my reviews

only one word comes to mind after watching The Falls. DIFFERENT.then again, Peter Greenaway has never ceased to surprise us (even those of us expecting the surprise). from victim 1 through 92 (including the few who are barely mentioned, along with a very convincing excuse as to why they don't have a full feature mention), the viewer is trapped in this make belief world of this plague that has struck part of the population. The entwining of some of the victims stories gives one a feeling of "now-that-makes-sense", the feeling we get when watching real documentaries.

the musical score left me speechless. and after three hours of listening to it, i am sure it will be stuck in my head all day tomorrow at work. the way it progresses from one victim to the next is fascinating.

i thought that i would struggle to remember individual cases. however, the closing scenes show a quick recap of the victims, and each case is remembered individually. i think that goes to show that the magical moviemaking techniques in this movie left a good imprint on my memory. the absurd tongue-in-cheek eccentricities of each case reminded me of classic british comedy. like the games in Drowning By Numbers, it was amusing to keep up with the humour.

after seeing several Greenaway movies, this one has left the biggest imprint. "The thief, the cook, ...." had a similar effect. however, the effects differ. one is of shock, the other is of brilliance.

I am not holding a drink in my hand at the moment, but if i were, i would be toasting Peter Greenaway in thanks for 3 hours of pure excellence.


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