6.6/10
572
13 user 27 critic

Radio On (1979)

| Drama, Music, Mystery | 1979 (UK)
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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Beames ...
Robert
...
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
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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.

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Drama | Music | Mystery

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Release Date:

1979 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Interview with Chris Petit and Keith Griffiths (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Radioactivity
Written by Florian Schneider-Esleben (uncredited), Emil Schult (uncredited) and Ralf Hütter (uncredited)
Performed by Kraftwerk
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User Reviews

 
England in 1979 was bleak
20 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Opening scene: like a badly lit YouTube video with camera tracking around a dingy flat in the dark.

A lot of dinge. Silences devoid of talking but staring from back of head off out into alienated nowheres.

Perpetual gloom is hungover every scene. This is England of 1979. Looking as bleak and despondent as I remember it. Thatcher the milk-snatcher had just come to power.

Not just dark and dim, but dull the first time i saw it. The plot is minimal and pointless (i.e beside the point) Concerned more with observational detachment than motivational character development. It's got a morose London Dj driving his Rover past monolithic tower-blocks out towards the desolate west country. Listening to Kraftwerk tapes sent by dead brother.

Dj like an alienated mopey nobody passively drifts into and out of various encounters of estrangement with other alienated mopey no-bodies (Sting still tries to be Sting though as a solitary and subdued petrol attendant singing Eddie Cochran on guitar).

This is Wim Wenders country. The existential road movie switched from soul-less autobahn to empty A4. Wenders cinematographer (Martin Schafer) is doing all the b/w monochrome melancholy with the camera. Even got Liza Kreuzer from Alice in the Cities looking for her daughter Alice (from Alice in the Cities?). Maybe she's in Weston-Super-Mare. Lets go there.

This has become a cult film. Critics liked it because it tried to be different, i.e the same as their beloved Wim. A cool German art-house sensibility transplanted to 1970′s England. Makes it feel like a depressingly depressive place. Even more depressingly depressive than it is now.


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