It's impossible to view the closed, hushed world of these girls without recalling Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) or Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999). Likewise, The Falling resonates with the work of fellow Brit Peter Strickland, whose new film The Duke of Burgundy (2014) also exemplifies the kind of seductive cerebral cinema that is being produced in Britain today.
Morley creates a perfectly hermetically sealed world for her girls to grow, enhanced by a ethereal soundtrack by former Everything But the Girl frontwoman Tracey Thorn and a stunning palette provided by Claire Denis’ long-time cinematographer, Agnès Godard. The Falling beckons audiences to sink into this claustrophobic yet wondrous world of feminine wiles, sexuality and power.
In 2012, director Carol Morley astounded ACMI audiences with Dreams of a Life, a haunting docu-drama about a woman who disappeared without a trace. Her follow-up film offers up a very different but equally intriguing proposition.
"Director Carol Morley has come up with another brilliant and very distinctive feature" - 5 stars, The Guardian
29 Jun - 26 Jul
Set in 1960s Britain, The Falling is an exquisite chamber piece that charts an outbreak of mass hysteria at an all-girls school. Lydia (Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams) is a whip-smart and angst-ridden teen who lives in a cramped flat-cum-hairdressing salon with her teenage brother, Kenneth (Joe Cole), and emotionally comatose mother (Maxine Peake). Her best friend is Abbie (played by stunning newcomer Florence Pugh). Through a series of secrets and rituals the girls insulate themselves from the boredom and oppression of school and their teenage lives. When Abbie loses her virginity, however, their bond is broken, Lydia's world is thrown into chaos, and strange things start to happen.