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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just for Greenaway fans, 11 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Early Films of Peter Greenaway 2 [1978] [DVD] (DVD)
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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Location: Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 758