[Film POP’s tribute to The Fall’s Mark E. Smith (1958-2018)]
Co-presented by La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines
Charles Atlas | United Kingdom, 1987 | 85 min
Directed by video artist Charles Atlas, Hail the New Puritan purports to present a day in the life of British choreographer Michael Clark. However, the piece is at its core a distillation of London’s Thatcher-era post-punk subculture. Employing a faux cinéma vérité style, Atlas punctuates his portrait of Clark with the choreographer’s signature erotic, provocative, and often surreal dance pieces. Featuring a who’s who of London’s 80s post-punk icons, including Leigh Bowery and Brix and Mark E. Smith, Hail the New Puritan is also a testament to the singular and enduring power of the Smith’s post-punk outfit, The Fall. Mark E. Smith, the leader and only consistent member of The Fall across its 42 years and 31 albums, died in early 2018. This video work features musical contributions by The Fall, Bruce Gilbert of Wire, Jeffrey Hinton, and Glenn Branca, who also passed away this year.