Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Montecruz Foto)


The Fall's Mark E. Smith named his favourite films of all time

Mark E. Smith, the delightfully irreverent icon of post-punk, gained intense notoriety in the music landscape which contributed to his legacy as well as that of The Fall. Smith was always suspicious of fame and the music industry, choosing to express his artistic sensibilities through brilliant songwriting which has merited comparisons to Baudelaire.

In 1981, Smith took part in a project by the NME titled “Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer” which chronicled the favourite writers, films, books, artists and songs of icons. Smith participated in the same and provided insights into his own artistic vision through these preferences, highlighting writers such as Burroughs and musicians like Johnny Cash.

Smith was also a fan of films and television, a passion that stayed with him during his last years. In his final interview, Smith revealed that he had been getting into science fiction: “I write a lot. I’m getting into DVDs. I’m not a box set man, Breaking Bad and all that, that’s going fucking nowhere. I read a lot of journals on old sci-fi.”

He was also a huge fan of Philip K. Dick and hated most adaptations: “The only good Philip K. Dick film is Total Recall, it’s faithful to the book. Arnie gets it. I was physically sick watching A Scanner Darkly, it was like an episode of Cheers painted over except they all smoke dope and imagine women with no clothes on.”

The interviewer had even asked Smith about the actor who would play him in a future biopic and he replied: “Rip Torn. Oh, he’s dead isn’t he?” even though Torn was alive at the same time. Smith eventually settled for his second choice which would really be a spectacle if it did happen: “I’d really like a dwarf. I like things like that.”

While listing some of his favourite films, Smith displayed great taste by selecting works of pioneers like Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti and Billy Wilder among others. Fellini is definitely a constant source of inspiration for many musicians, having influenced the works of several music icons ranging from The Beatles to Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen.

Check out the full list below.

Mark E. Smith’s favourite films:

  • Macbeth (Roman Polanski, 1971)
  • High Anxiety (Mel Brooks, 1977)
  • Fellini’s Roma (Federico Fellini, 1972)
  • X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes (Roger Corman, 1963)
  • The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder, 1945)
  • The Damned (Luchino Visconti, 1969)
  • Days of Wine and Roses (Blake Edwards, 1962)
  • Charlie Bubbles (Albert Finney, 1968)