The Early Films Of Peter Greenaway - Vol. 2 1978


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Two more short films from Peter Greenaway. In 'Vertical Falls Remake' academics argue about the work of Tulse Luper while 'The Falls' is divided into 92 biographies of people who have all been affected by the 'VUE', the Violent Unknown Event and a phenomenom in some way connected with birds and flying.

Lorna Poulter, Michael Murray
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Product Details

  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 3 hours 50 minutes
Starring Lorna Poulter, Michael Murray, Peter Westley, Aad Wirtz
Director Peter Greenaway
Genres Drama
Rental release 20 October 2003
Main languages English

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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Salvador Fortuny Miró on 4 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Peter Greenaway considers the two films included in this second volume of his early works, specially The falls, the most emblematics of his career as filmmaker: they are an inventory of his most beloved obssessions,a synthesis of his previous achievements as director interested in experimentation in movies and a seed of future projects.

In VERTICAL FEARURES REMAKE ( 1976 ) he introduces again the figure of Tulse Luper, a fictional character that later would be the "protagonist" of a film trilogy ( "Tulse Luper stair case" series ). V.F.Remake is a sarcastic and playful parody of structuralism theorising, academic criticism and cultural institutions around a false documentary and his many reconstructions.

THE FALLS ( 1978 ) is a catalogue of 92 invented biographies of people whose name begins with the word " falls " and affected
by an unknown illness ( the U.V.E. ) in some way connected with birds and flying.This is a seminal work of Greenaway's particular mithology that works as a game of mirrors in which he blends bizarre situations, human mutations, false interviews, archive footage, ironic self-references ( he introduces in a new context stuff of his previous films ) and conceptual playing inside an structure that by its peculiar characteristics and form, as the director has told, can be reformulated and extended "ad infinitum". " The falls " is probably the film that better illustrates Greenaway's cinema conception and his voluptuous and enciclopedic spirit:his passion for catalogues and dictionaries; his interest in structuralism and conceptual games; his taste in weird artefacts, bizarre invention, the theatre of absurd and barroque visual compositions, also as his miscellaneous erudition. All this packed in an only film directed with fine irony and amazing visual invention.

The scores of both films have been composed by Michael Nyman and this DVD edition supervised by Greenaway himself.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By KINSAYDER on 11 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It may be insanity to suggest it, but I am of the opinion that The Falls is not only P. Greenaway's best film, but it is also the greatest British film of all time. Whatever, it's certainly the most uncompromising, the most imaginative, the most unforgettable. I won't go into its Borgesian, mazelike, intellectual slapstick details, but suffice it to say it comes off like a mind-expanding ramming together of J G Ballard and Monty Python that overwhelms (bludgeons) the viewer with a wealth of language, images, puns, and ideas.

For anyone bored senseless with the tiresome British film-cabal obsession with class, politics, and nostalgia The Falls is a three-hour long inhalation of fresh air. It is also enhanced by a DVD release, as it is one of the few films that finds its ideal medium in the digital age, allowing the user to divide the film into chapters and thematic groups, and to playfully extend an already labyrinthine structure out to infinity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unfortunately those likely to watch this film are likely to be drawn from Peter Greenaway obsessives who really love his later work. I think that this would appeal to a far wider audience as although it is intellectual, it is a playful charmer rather than the rather brutal and chilly fables that he later made.

The disk includes the short Vertical Falls Remake, and the three hour long The Falls. There are also some extras, an interview with the Director and images of his notes and some of his artworks.

I would suggest that viewers just launch into The Falls, it is blessed with one of Michael Nyman's best scores. It is put together with a strong visual sensibility and brim full of in jokes. For example it features the Brothers Quay (animators and directors) Bob Godfrey, and I suspect even an uncredited Michael Nyman. It also features extracts from Greenaway's earlier films and art works. It is ostensibly a fake documentary in the aftermath of the Violent Unknown Event (VUE) consisting of interviews with victims whose names start with the letters FALL. There is a playful obsession with birds and flying, with the victims exhibiting signs of becoming more birdlike and speaking previously unknown languages.

Many hypotheses are put forward however the accounts are at time contradictory. There is no real violence to speak of, one interviewee is a naturist, but there is nothing here that should prove unduly shocking or disturbing.

Once you accept that there is no real narrative, this makes for an engaging way to spend three hours. I first saw it at University Film Society, and despite being three hours long the small audience all sat through the entire film quite happily.

I would suggest that Vertical Features Remake is of more niche interest, but a nice little extra to have.
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