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)'.
Did You Know?
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
References Sparrows Can't Sing