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 ... ppis Fallabus
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 ... Woman using phone
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>

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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

Fragments of director Peter Greenaway's short films A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist (1979) and Vertical Features Remake (1978) appear in the film. See more »

Connections

Features Vertical Features Remake (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absurd, eccentric, fastidious, hilarious, intricate. A fantastic frivolous frolic.
12 May 2000 | by AfraciousSee all my reviews

Welcome to the highly personal paramount of Greenaway's work. His scathing documentary on general English silliness. An elongated, meticulously constructed piece of fabulous fantasy. A fantastic frivolous frolic. The film chronicles the biographies of 92 selected victims of the Violent Unknown Event, or VUE for short - a strange occurrence that has left people speaking strange languages and experiencing bird-related symptoms. All of the victims' surnames' begin with the word FALL. The bios are described by several narrators. Some of the bios are curt, others are fastidiously described. They are always witty. Examples being a victim who continually tells bird jokes, "Why do birds fly south for the winter? Because it's too far for them to walk". Others constantly drive in circles. Many of them have new talents, like spitting long distances. Some of the bios reminded me of Monty Python sketches, with the similar zest of absurd English humour.

It is a challenge to sit through it all in one go, and is probably best viewed on video in two or three attempts. Not recommended for everyone, but if you want something hilariously different look no further.


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