The planet has been affected by a mysterious occurrence known as the Violent Unknown Event, or V.U.E. It has caused immortality and disability. Victims have learned new and peculiar languages. Some firmly believe in the responsibility of birds. In this three-hour film, ninety-two biographies are presented of victims whose surnames begin with the letters F A L L. 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 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 sound-track 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)'.
Did You Know?
The recurrences of the number 92 throughout the film (the number of VUE victims, the number of artificial languages, etc.) was partly intended as a homage to composer John Cage
's "Indeterminacy", which Greenaway believed contained 92 stories. Cage later informed the director that there were only 90 sections and was much amused by Greenaway's error. See more
References The Owl and the Pussycat