After the recent death of Mark E Smith, tonight BBC4 are repeating The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith. I’m reminded of a fortuitous encounter in 2004 that led to my (very minor) involvement and credit for ‘archive’ on the documentary.
I was at the ResFest, a festival of experimental film-making at the BFI. I’d got talking to a woman about my favourite band, The Fall and mentioned I’d compiled and directed some videos and sequences for the Beggars Banquet VHS8489 video compilation. This had led to a couple of drinking encounters with Mark E Smith and subsequently the making of an unofficial promo for the White Lightning single I’d filmed from side of the stage at 1990s Reading Festival. I’d told her I’d also tried, unsuccessfully, to make a documentary about The Fall back in the early 90s. To my surprise she said her flatmate was working on a BBC documentary about the band and she’d introduce me to her but I thought this might be just merrymaking talk.