What Goes Up: A Reversed Montage of Falling in Film

From certain death to rebirth.
By  · Published on May 18th, 2017

From certain death to rebirth.

Some of my favorite sorts of videos are those that play with established tropes. Take for example the following video from our very good friend, the supremely talented Jacob T. Swinney, who has taken one of the most tried-and-true tropes out there – characters falling from a great height accompanied by the camera all through their descent – and turned it quite literally on its head.

See, the point of showing a character’s complete fall, physically, in a film is to inform or remind us in the audience of the cause for their fall, emotionally or personally, be it as a result of their own decision – as is the case of Waring Hudsucker in The Hudsucker Proxy – or as the result of their actions and doled out at the hands of another – as is the case of Selina Kyle in Batman Returns.

But what happens when you play these falls in reverse? Well, first and foremost, they’re not falls anymore, they’re not plummeting descents, they’re meteoric ascents, they are reversals of fortune and, as Swinney points out in his written intro, they are instead of climactic certain deaths, “something close to rebirth.”

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist