Falls, The (1980)

Original Title : Falls, The
Director : Peter Greenaway
Writer : Peter Greenaway
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
Language : English
Music : Brian Eno
John Hyde
Michael Nyman
Keith Pendlebury
Photography : Mike Coles
John Rosenberg
Bert Walker
IMDB ID : 0080715
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poster for "Falls, The" by Peter Greenaway (1980)
Falls, The (1980) - Peter Greenaway


Peter Westley Narrator
Mary Howard Narrator
Evelyn Owen Narrator
Carole Meyer Narrator
Maggie Palmer Narrator
John Wilson G. Odfrey
Mick O'Connor Narrator


The world has been affected by a mysterious occurrance known as the Violent Unknown Event or VUE. It has caused immortality and disability. Sufferers have learned new and peculiar languages. Some firmly believe in the responsibility of birds. In this 3-hour long film, 92 biographies are presented of sufferers whose surnames begin with the letters FALL. 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 back 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 soundtrack 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)'.


A Three Hour Shaggy Dog Story I'm a big fan of Greenaway's works and I jumped at the chance to check out this early work by the director on video. I can't add to what others have said here except to say that it's an excrutiating experience that doesn't have enough humor to keep your interest for the full running time. At its best, "The Falls" is an interesting and sometimes funny curiosity that points to themes Greenaway would return to again and again in his later work, at its worst, "The Falls" is a tedious experiment.