Watch films. Watch lots of them. Watch what people you know watch. And watch what people you know don’t watch. Watch what piques your interest. And don’t be afraid sometimes to watch what doesn’t pique your interest. Try not to close off possibilities. The New York lottery strapline goes “Hey – you never know”.

Watch films. Watch lots of them. Watch what piques your interest. Try not to close off possibilities. Hey – you never know.

Watch films. Lots. Possibilities. You never know.

Watch films. Lots. You know.

***

Professional print film critics, in general, don’t rate “The Fall”, for example;

“It’s strictly bargain bin.” – Nathan Lee, The New York Times – [1].

“The pacing drags and the clichéd tussle between childhood innocence and adult disillusionment can only go one way.” – Trevor Johnston, Timeout – [2]. 

” … a white elephant at once enthralled by its own rarefied distance from basic human interest.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety – [3]. 

Criticism centres on a mismatch between the plot line and the visuals, or the quality of the plot line itself.

We ask a lot from films; perhaps more so than from the other arts. Many art forms are expected to combine in excellence, by convention, in a great film. And, in general, combined excellence generates a great film.

But, is it possible for a great film to be made outside of this convention? Yes. If the work is film as art – [4].

To see the beauty of “The Fall”, you have to abandon the norms of great ‘conventional’ filmmaking and the rewards of the form.

In fact, you need to abandon that you are watching a conventional film at all; a trap into which print film critics make the fall.

To see the beauty of “The Fall”, you should approach it as seeing visual art – and not approach it like a film at all.

Approach a film not like a film? Yes. Remember how not to approach an Impressionist piece like it was representational art? Well, don’t approach “The Fall” like a representational (conventional) film. Approach it as a hundred and seventeen minute piece of visual art.

There are great conventional films. But there are also great pieces of art on film; watch Tarsem Singh’s “The Fall” and you will see beauty everywhere.

References:

[1] https://mobile.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/movies/09fall.html?referer=http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0460791/externalreviews?ref_=m_tt_ov_rt

[2] https://www.timeout.com/london/film/the-fall

[3] https://www.google.co.uk/amp/variety.com/2006/film/markets-festivals/the-fall-2-1200513233/amp/

[4] http://screenmusings.org/movie/blu-ray/The-Fall/