An exhaustive, Inventive, absurdist catalogue in the mockumentary style, like a marathon amphetamine-fuelled charge through Saki’s short stories. On the way it creates an incidental portrait of a nation and fizzes with creative energy. After flagging early I got swept up in the rhythm and silliness and enjoyed the long glide to the end
When I first saw THE FALLS, late teens or early twenties, I was not yet knowledgeable insofar as concerns Oulipo, the mad scientist collective known for using generative constraints and various formulae to produce experimental compositions. Now a well-read middle-aged fella, I see the parallels, finding inspiration in the matter of Greenaway's conceptual constraints awarding him seemingly infinite possibilities.
Massive, overwhelming, very clever piece of filmmaking. A complex meditation on flight, birds, cinema and at least a dozen other things, this could come across as a big unwatchable slab of a movie but Greenaway ensures that there's always something funny around the corner. The Nyman score is amazing. This film is indescribable, a masterpiece of scale, structure and cinema. Enormous.
An epic summation of Greenaway's early contrarian responses to the imperialism of (information) filmic conventions. It's mordantly hilarious in it's misuse of that earnestly pedagogic style with decidedly unreliable & arbitrary evidence, useless cataloging, misleading illustration, playful linguistic nonsense and indeed film duration itself. It isn't what we've been trained to expect. This is cinema!
I watched this, during my undergraduate degree, in my university library's media room. About halfway through another student accidentally unplugged my video player. She apologised profusely. "Don't worry!" I reassured her, "that's how Greenaway wanted the film to be watched!" It didn't reassure her. The earlier the Greenaway the funnier. This is so very charming. Love the smoldering Brothers Quay for the still!
As globalization threatens "small" languages worldwide, Greenaway produces a Babylonian tongue-splitting instrument whose essence though is inaccessible to any linguistic expression as if a prime motor emanating discourse but hidden in transcendence - the VUE. Minor ousts major, and with English as the new lingua franca, erratic xenoglossia geysers erupt in its insular habitat like a repressed and relapsed tumor. The
Probably the ballsiest, most meticulous approach to science-fictive worldbuilding I've ever seen, especially in film. Plus a broad emotional range: funny, erudite, conspiratorial, eerie, absurd, and not without pathos. For similar, pagebound intertexual goodies, read: J L Borges' 'Universal History of Infamy,' Roberto Bolaño's 'Nazi Literature in the Americas,' & J Rodolfo Wilcock's 'Temple of Iconoclasts.'
Amazing. Exhilarating and exhausting. "This might be no more enigmatic than as a reference to his profession as a seller of chicken wire." Combines the wackiness of Monty Python with the black humor of John Sladek; the non-existent book reviews of Stanislaw Lem and the details of train passengers in Geoff Ryman's 253. Ornithological red herrings and spontaneous new languages. Conspiracies, immortality and absurdism.
A misguided bureaucracy trying to take stock of human tragedy. That's what this movie seemed to be ultimately about to me. The grotesque and absurd nature of the tragedy made this even more poignant to me. I confess to not having watched all 190 minutes of this but it's a movie I'm sure to come back to a couple times and finish eventually. Like a Gravity's Rainbow or In Search of Lost Time.
Not exactly sure what I just watched and it's taken several sessions to get through it, but that was quite something. It's a Monty Python epsiode, William S Burrough's cut-up and a Residents album thrown together and blended into something pretty wonderful and creepy and jarring.
The Falls, like all of Greenaway's films, it find a unique conceit to excite and hook the viewer. The Falls, like "A Walk Through H", commits to a reporting pseudo-documentarian voice, relying on voice overs. It does not open itself up to the viewer, teasing her with the prospect of a peculiar plot. Unfortunately, it does not follow through quickly enough. Instead, it continues to resist until the viewer gives up.