DIRECTED BY: Maria Allred
FEATURING: Julie Webb, Patrick Green, Maria Allred, Benjamin Farmer
PLOT: Some millennials with plenty of time and money skirt around different affairs with each other before it’s revealed that we’re watching a movie about some millennials with plenty of time and money who skirt around having different affairs with each other.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: It pitches itself as “unlike any film that you’ve ever seen”. That is true: never have I seen something so bold in its combination of earnest pretentiousness and skull-sagging tedium.
COMMENTS: Recent experience suggests that among today’s millennialist youth, the trend of making movies that end up being about making movies is growing. Perhaps the would-be artistes grew up watching them and thought, erroneously, “That looks easy. I bet I can make something that impressive.” Flustered as I am at this moment, I just had the horrible realization that I wish I had just re-watched Paris Is Us instead of this one—and trust you me, I am fully aware of the ramifications of that errant thought.
The drama begins in Portland, Oregon—definitely not Seattle, Washington. Louisa (Julie Webb) is an aspiring film-maker and “love-skeptic” who finds herself, against her will, falling for quiet-but-blandly-hot pianist-composer, Luke (Patrick Green). In a parallel story, not-so-happy-with-his-wife Mike (Benjamin Farmer), an architect, is beginning a bondage-lite affair with a woman whose character was so hard to pin down I can only confidently refer to her by the descriptor “Blondie” (Maria Allred). As love chatter goes back and forth and up and down, each of the leads makes various compromises (?) and claws blindly toward an actual plot.
On at least two occasions I wrote in my notebook, “Big question: is this going anywhere?” And this was twice during a movie lasting a blip of an hour and a quarter. While watching various characters I had absolutely no interest in putz around and make emotional and social idiots of themselves, I was nearly relieved to find that I was watching one of them there “movie” movies. Turns out Louisa is writing a script, and lifting her lines from her interactions with Luke. But wait! No, it turns out that she’s actually fallen for the moody pianist (who is married, with children) on whom she’s basing a character. But wait! Louisa is just the role played by a character who seems to be an assistant to the real driving force behind this mess.
Maria Allred: I understand that making a movie is a very difficult undertaking. Furthermore, that your credits list includes, but is not limited to, director, writer, editor, producer, costumes, casting, designer, and art department forces me, despite my complete dismissiveness, to give you some respect. But perhaps you should take on a lighter workload next time. The Texture of Falling is, technically, a well put-together movie. But it is, almost objectively, a boring mass of bad dialogue, superfluous meta-twists, and somnolent acting. If your next Kick-Starter[efn_note]Kickstarter was mentioned on no fewer than 3 occasions.[/efn_note] campaign is for a movie with an actual plot, consider me on the hook for at least a one-hundred dollar donation.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“How are these people connected? What’s real and what’s fantasy? But again, I run the risk of giving the impression that The Texture of Falling is compelling, which it is not. It’s 74 minutes of mediocre actors giving meek, low-energy performances while reciting clumsily written, faux-philosophical dialogue.” –Eric D. Schneider, Portland Mercury (contemporaneous)
4 thoughts on “CAPSULE: THE TEXTURE OF FALLING (2018)”
Oh Portland (smh)….
Hey, thanks for reviewing my movie! I understand your criticism and appreciate you taking the time to view and respond. And my next film, The Watcher’s Game, definitely has a plot, or at least the type you may be looking for. But definitely won’t be doing any crowdsourcing for it. Very nice offer though.
Hello, Maria, and welcome to 366 Weird Movies. I’m flattered that you responded to my review. I’m always eager to see new talent in film-making and I understand that not every movie was made with me (and 366) in mind. I’ve remarked to people off-line that “The Texture of Falling” is technically very well made. I hope to be able to stay up to speed with developments on your next movie and wish you all the best of luck with its production.
Just a word about our philosophy towards reviewing low and microbudget films (especially debuts). When we review these types of films we are hoping to find little gems, and sometimes do. There are a lot of sites out there who will give them nothing but positive reviews, feeling that it’s important to encourage or support new talent. Our philosophy is to be straight up about the film and the reviews response to it. We hold you to the same standard we would a David Lynch film; there’s no curve where you get bonus points for limited resources. I do want reviewers to not be mean or nasty (save that for big budget Hollywoood features) but I do want to supply honest, constructive criticism. Insincere praise won’t help anyone improve their craft.
That said, we are always gratified to hear a gracious response from a director who’s received a poor review. (There’s a similar response here: https://366weirdmovies.com/366-underground-she-found-now-2018/). It’s rare, but I have received “hate mail” over a film that we gave a mediocre review. We are not trying to discourage young talent. True artists will persevere and improve in the face of criticism; poseurs who expect instant universal praise will give up at the first unkind word.