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Radio On

2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ripe for rediscovery, director Chris Petit's post-punk journey has become a cult film since its initial release and is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema. Produced by Wim Wenders and featuring one of Sting's earliest acting performances, RADIO ON is austere in narrative and captures the lurking disenchantment of the British youth movements of the time.

Stunningly photographed in luminous monochrome by Martin Schaefer (Wenders's brilliant cinematographer), and driven by a startling soundtrack (Bowie, Devo, Kraftwerk, Lene Lovich, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric and more), Petit's anti-road movie "announced a directorial sensibility that was alien to British film." (Chris Darke, FILM COMMENT). Following a young man as he travels to Bristol to investigate the mysterious death of his brother, it 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


One of the landmark English films of the past 30 years. -- Daily Telegraph (UK)

Special Features

  • RADIO ON REMIX - Director Christopher Petit revisits locations for the the film 20 years later .with sound design from Bruce Gilbert of Wire
  • Booklet featuring stills and liner notes from British film critic Sukhdev Sandhu

Product Details

  • Actors: David Beames, Lisa Kreuzer, Sandy Ratcliff, Andrew Byatt, Sue Jones-Davies
  • Directors: Christopher Petit
  • Writers: Christopher Petit, Heidi Adolph
  • Producers: Keith Griffiths, Peter Sainsbury, Renée Gundelach, Wim Wenders
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,668 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Radio On" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Hartley on October 17, 2013
Format: DVD
You know how you develop an inexplicable emotional attachment to certain films? This no-budget 1979 offering from writer-director Christopher Petit, shot in stark B&W is one such film for me. That being said, I should warn you that it is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, because it contains one of those episodic, virtually plotless "road trip" narratives that may cause drowsiness for some viewers after about 15 minutes. Yet, I feel compelled to revisit this one at least once a year. Go figure. A dour London DJ (David Beames), whose estranged brother has committed suicide, heads to Bristol to get his sibling's affairs in order and attempt to glean what drove him to such despair (while quite reminiscent of the setup for Get Carter, this is not a crime thriller...far from it). He has encounters with various characters, including a friendly German woman, a sociopathic British Army vet who served in Northern Ireland, and a rural gas-station attendant (played by Sting!) who kills time singing Eddie Cochran songs. But the "plot" doesn't matter. As the protagonist journeys across an England full of bleak yet perversely beautiful industrial landscapes in his boxy sedan, accompanied by a moody electronic score (mostly Kraftwerk and David Bowie) the film becomes hypnotic. A textbook example of how the cinema is capable of capturing and preserving the zeitgeist of an ephemeral moment (e.g. England on the cusp of the Thatcher era) like no other art form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mr. contrarian on August 2, 2014
Format: DVD
This film is a perfect example of the word "zeitgeist" because it records the general spirit or mood of 1979 in a million subtle but powerful ways. Every character seemed to instinctively know that one era had ended and a very different one was about to begin. The words and images are all directed to this purpose. I think this was an example of a director pursuing humble goals, but when something more lofty, fleeting, and complex gradually presented itself, he kept his ego out of the way and devoted his talent and energy to something larger than himself. It's sort of the opposite of Hollywood druggies today who film something with daddy's money masquerading as "artistic" or "experimental" purely for immediate fame and adoration. Watch it all the way through. The "payoff" will come as you reflect on it days and weeks later.
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