David Bowie wasn’t just an influential pioneer in the world of music, he was a cultural phenomenon. Known for his experimental brand of music which transformed him into an enduring symbol of popular culture, Bowie left an indelible mark on not just modern music but film history as well through his many memorable contributions.
As an actor, Bowie collaborated with some of the greatest filmmakers of the past as well as the present. Ranging from his unforgettable performance as an extraterrestrial entity in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth to his work on Japanese master Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Bowie worked with some of the most revered visionaries of the 20th century.
While some critics have maintained that the use of Bowie’s music in films by Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are more masterful than any of his acting work, his acting collaborations with filmmakers like David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan can hardly be dismissed by anyone. On the contrary, these acting parts crystallise his image as one of the most enigmatic artistic figures in history.
Since he worked with the best directorial talents, it is only natural to assume that Bowie’s taste in cinema and television was as exceptional as his selection of favourite books which included essential works by incredibly important literary pioneers such as Albert Camus and James Baldwin. Bowie was actually a huge fan of world cinema and often cited surrealist master Luis Buñuel as a personal favourite.
However, David Bowie’s favourite television show of all time was actually an Australian soap opera that few people outside the country have ever really seen. Titled A Country Practice, the show revolved around the staff members and the patients of a small hospital in rural Australia which addressed contemporary issues like addiction, mental health, HIV and viewed poverty through socioeconomic lenses.
The show’s cast eventually acquired national recognition and moved onto bigger projects and A Country Practice attained fame for its iconic portrayals of Australian animals like ‘Fatso the wombat’. Consisting of more than a thousand episodes, Bowie claimed that he was obsessed with the show and even invited Iggy Pop to watch it with him. He was so impressed with the show that he asked the lead actor Shane Porteous to spend time with him during his famous Glass Spider Tour.
Watch a clip from David Bowie’s favourite show below.