Orchard Falla

 Duration 1.52

The VUE Commission's information card of Orchard Falla

"Biography number one introduces six of the Falls' themes of subject, style and reference.

1) A hyper-sensitive attitude to the protection of birds that even extends to their corpses.

2) Physical malfunction for the VUE victim - often bizarre and often relevant to some arrested metamorphosis of man into bird.

3) Language conversion. There are ninety-two new and officially recognised VUE languages.

4) The division of the orthodox two sexual roles into four.

5) The suggestion that the VUE has a fixed geographical epi-centre on the Lleyn Peninsula of North Wales.

6) The introduction of the Theory of the Responsibility of Birds and a suggestion of its opposing attitude centred in FOX, the Society For Ornithological Extermination.

Also introduced is the strong visual reference of water and the 'pathetic' musical theme that will insinuate itself in many guises throughout the ninety-two biographies and become built into the ninety-two musical pieces that introduce the biographies. 

This first biography also contains the first and only 'real' image of a bird - a seagull and a dead one - and in the person of Orchard Falla, whose first name foreshadows the Boulder Orchard, the epi-centre of epi-centres on the Lleyn Peninsula, hints that the film as a whole, like Falla, might be looking in the wrong direction entirely in its concern to investigate the Violent Unknown Event." - Peter Greenaway, The New Social Function of Cinema, BFI, 1981


Orchard Falla is a Capistan-speaking young male man. He suffers from perpetually aching teeth, gross anaemia and a marrow deficiency. For his age and his condition he is heavy. There is no known photograph of him. Orchard lives outside Arklow, County Wicklow, and earns a living working in an iron-monger's that makes most of its profit selling chicken-wire. It is not recorded what Orchard thinks of the Violent Unknown Event, and he is very non-committal about any opinion concerning the theory of the Responsibility of Birds, though in an unguarded moment he has described his enemy as the FOX. This might be no more enigmatic than a reference to his profession as a seller of chicken-wire.

At least once every twenty-four hours, Orchard finds time to drive five miles to the coast, ostensibly to collect the skulls of seabirds. Indeed, he often returns with one hidden in the toe of one of a pair of perished waders that he keeps in the back of his car. The concealment is a precaution in case he is challenged. His finds are usually limited to the upper-jaw of an oystercatcher, or perhaps the head of a herring gull which has to be sliced from the rest of its tar-covered body with a penknife given to him by his employer last Bird-Fall Day. However, Orchard, more often than not, spends his time at the beach, day or night, standing staring at the sea with both hands clamped tightly to his lower jaw in the unlikely hope of squeezing away the toothache. In such a position he stares fixedly to the southeast. If he had turned his gaze forty-five degrees, and stared out due east, he might have faced the horizon that hid the Lleyn Peninsula of North Wales, which is what he wanted to stare at. As it was, he misplaced his time, his energy and his anxiety by staring at the horizon that hid the coast of Pembrokeshire which was much too far to the south.

Dead bird


The Falls Biographies

  1. Orchard Falla

  2. Constance Ortuist Fallaburr

  3. Melorder Fallaburr

  4. Appis (Arris) Fallabus

  5. Standard Fallaby

  6. Tasida Fallaby

  7. Lacer Fallacet

  8. Arris Fallacie

  9. Mashanter Fallack

  10. Squaline Fallaize

  11. Carlos Fallantly

  12. Musicus Fallantly

  13. Wrallis Fallanway

  14. Allia Fallanx

  15. Starling Fallanx

  16. Ipson & Pulat Fallari

  17. Stachia Fallari

  18. Aptesia Fallarme

  19. Corntopia Fallas

  20. Anteo Fallaspy

  21. Pandist Fallaspy

  22. Sashio Fallaspy

  23. Vyanine Fallaspy

  24. Casternarm Fallast

  25. Ardenaur Fallatter

  26. Agropio Fallaver

  27. Propine Fallax

  28. Cash Fallbaez

  29. Antopody Fallbatts

  30. Coppice Fallbatteo

  31. Agrendo Fallbazz

  32. Cisgatten Fallbazz

  33. Hasp Fallbazz

  34. Canopy Fallbenning

  35. Cole Fallbird

  36. Castel Fallboys

  37. Acataloope Fallbus

  38. Astraham Fallbute

  39. Loosely Fallbute

  40. Betheda Fallbutus

  41. Cathine Fallbutus

  42. Bwythan Fallbutus

  43. Menenome Fallbutus

  44. Olivine Fallbutus

  45. Vacete Fallbutus

  46. Astra Fallcas

  47. David Fallcash

  48. Bewick Fallcaster

  49. Catch-Hanger Fallcaster

  50. Clasper Fallcaster

  51. Felix Fallcaster

  52. Max Fallcaster

  53. Orion Fallcaster

  54. Throper Fallcaster

  55. Raskado Fallcastle

  56. Appropinquo Fallcatti

  57. Agrimany Fallchester

  58. Sitiarch Fallding

  59. Ostler Falleaver

  60. Edio Fallenby

  61. Shey Fallenby

  62. Affinado Falleur

  63. Erek Fallfree

  64. Thomax Fallfresh

  65. Zachia Fallgillot

  66. Joyan Fallicory

  67. Bird Gaspara Fallicutt

  68. Obsian Fallicutt

  69. Wrallis Fallinway

  70. Ashile Fallko

  71. Agostina Fallmutt

  72. Castan Fallockery

  73. Cottes Fallope

  74. Pollie Fallory

  75. Afracious Fallows

  76. Hearty Fallparco

  77. Sallis Pino Fallpinio

  78. Crasstranger Fallqueue

  79. Romanese Fallracce

  80. Ascrib Fallstaff

  81. Armeror Fallstag

  82. Combayne Fallstoward

  83. Geoffrey Fallthuis

  84. Merriem Falltrick

  85. Stephany Falltrix

  86. Tolley Falluger

  87. Vassian Falluger

  88. Erhaus Bewler Falluper

  89. Grastled Fallusson

  90. Castral Fallvernon

  91. Leasting Fallvo

  92. Anthior Fallwaste


The Falls