The Falls purports to profile 92 people, each of whom has survived a Violent Unknown Event (the details of which, almost in a parody of The Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), are kept conflicting and deliberately unclear). Each develops an obsession with birds and flight in some eccentric way, along with peculiar languages (which allows Greenaway to conduct some marvellous cod linguistic anthropology) and peculiar mutations. For each of the 92 profiled, Greenaway wanders off to tell some wonderfully nutty little story in one of the funniest moments, one character develops the theory that the Violent Unknown Event was orchestrated by Alfred Hitchcock in order to deal with the unexplained ending of The Birds (1963).
The film is filled with many characteristic Greenaway-esque touches the peculiar fascination with the cataloguing of seemingly trivial details; numeric sequences the number 92 has a recurring significance; wilfully eccentric connections of logic; the farcically straight-face sense of humour. One can even note odd in-references to other Peter Greenaway films there are several mentions of his earlier shorts Vertical Features Remake (1976) and A Walk Through H (1978). One of the biographies also makes mention of the three Cissy Colpitts who would later become the three central characters of Greenaways Drowning By Numbers (1988).
The Falls is a genuinely eccentric film. Eccentric as much for Peter Greenaways drolly absurd sense of humour as for the fact that he has devoted three hours to it indeed the session that one was at ended with at least half the audience walking out. For all that, The Falls is an undeniably likeable film.
Peter Greenaways other films of genre interest are: several episodes of the modernised tv series A TV Dante (1989-91); The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), his Shakespeare adaptation Prosperos Books (1991), the miraculous child film The Baby of Macon (1993) and The Tulse Luper Suitcases: The Moab Story (2003), The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 2: From Vaux to the Sea (2004) and The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part 3: From Sark to the Finish (2004), a surreal mock biography that is part of a mammoth multimedia work from Greenaway.
Some of the individual segments can be found online here:-
Other clips also available