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Radio On (1979)

 -  Drama | Music | Mystery  -  1979 (UK)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 457 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 26 critic

Set in 1970's Britain, a man drives from London to Bristol to investigate his brother's death. The purpose of his trip is offset by his encounters with a series of odd people.

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Title: Radio On (1979)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Beames ...
Robert
Lisa Kreuzer ...
Ingrid
Sandy Ratcliff ...
Kathy
Andrew Byatt ...
Deserter
Sue Jones-Davies ...
Girl
...
Just Like Eddie
Sabina Michael ...
Aunt
Katja Kersten ...
German Woman
Paul Hollywood ...
Kid
Adrian Jones
Cyril Kent
Bernard Mistovski
Nina Pace
Joseph Riordan
David Squire
Edit

Storyline

Set in 1970's Britain, a man drives from London to Bristol to investigate his brother's death. The purpose of his trip is offset by his encounters with a series of odd people.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | Mystery

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1979 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Radio On Remix (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Always Crashing in the Same Car
Written by David Bowie (uncredited)
Performed by David Bowie
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User Reviews

Interesting commentary on the decline of British cinema
22 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Former Time Out critic, Christopher Petit's directorial debut, Radio On, shows its European credentials well. I say this for a couple of reasons. For one, like the French New Wave participants, Petit began as a film critic, and the sparing nature of this existential road movie, was self- consciously attempting to move British cinema towards a European style. Secondly, and far more telling, is the influence and participation of the New German Cinema of the 1970's. Whilst interviewing Wim Wenders, the subject of Petit's own screenplay arose, and Wenders was impressed. Therefore, Wenders became associate producer, and also lent the use of his cinematographer, Martin Schafer.

Beautifully shot in monochrome, the black and white imagery displays its artful intentions. We follow Robert (David Beames) as he drives from London to Bristol, after being informed that his brother has committed suicide. On his journey, he encounters several unhinged British citizens, including a Glaswegian squaddie with anger management issues, as well as meeting Sting at a petrol station, who seems to be obsessed with Eddie Cochran. Not much really happens in the film, but the most significant (at least the longest) "relationship" is with a German woman, Ingrid (Lisa Kreuzer - who was in Wenders' Alice in the Cities (1974 - Review #96)), who is searching for her missing daughter named Alice (a possible reference to the aforementioned German film.

This is a bleak representation of 1970's Britain. Not a hard task in itself (you could have pointed a camera anywhere in '70's Britain, and it would have been depressing). But what was fundamental to Petit's intentions, was actually a comment on the decline of British cinema. The main output of British cinema was within the prurient genre of the repressed "sex comedies" such as the on-going Carry On.. films, or the equally lamentable Confessions... series with Robin Askwith. When there was any serious attempt at British cinema, they were barely seen. Petit, felt that the Americanisation of our cinema's and the fact that our national cinema was laughable, was decreasing our cultural identity. Radio On is an attempt to move our cinema towards a more European, existential path, and with a more political consciousness.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


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What is the Bristol hotel in the film? pottedstu
When will this be released on DVD ? CliffLunt
grafitti on the wall - 'free ........' simonc39
What side was the brother on? calvinoshea
nearly 30 years later sambartram
What were the German women saying? calvinoshea
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