Dir. Chris Petit
UK-Germany 1979 | Black & white | 104 mins | Cert 18 | Drama
Cast: David Beames, Lisa Kreuzer
One of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema, Chris Petit’s (anti-) road movie is both a hymn and homage to the dreamed imperatives of the clear highway, while remaining ruefully aware that, in England at least, the road soon runs out and the journey must turn in other directions, not least inward. Following a young man (David Beames) as he travels to Bristol to investigate the mysterious death of his brother, Radio On offers a unique, compelling and even mythic vision of a late 1970s England, stalled between failed hopes of cultural and social change and the imminent upheavals of Thatcherism. Stunningly photographed in luminous monochrome by Martin Schäfer (the brilliant cinematographer of Wim Wenders), and driven by a startling new wave soundtrack (Bowie, Kraftwerk, Lene Lovich, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric and more).
Available on: DVD, 35mm
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