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Radio On [DVD]


Price: £6.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: David Beames, Lisa Kreuzer, Sandy Ratcliff, Andrew Byatt, Sue Jones-Davies
  • Directors: Christopher Petit
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Bfi Video Publishing
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015YY7D6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,216 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

RADIO ON
A film by Christopher Petit

Available on DVD for the first time in the UK, Chris Petit's Radio On is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema - a haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie, crammed with eerie evocations of English landscape and weather.

Following a young London DJ (David Beames) on the road 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, and driven by a startling new wave soundtrack - and early screen performance by Sting - Radio On is ripe for rediscovery.

DVD Extras

  • Filmed interview with Chris Petit and producer Keith Griffiths
  • radio on (remix), (Petit, 1998, 24 mins): a stunning digital video essay with radical disruption of the original soundtrack by Wire s Bruce Gilbert
  • 28-page booklet with essays by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, John Patterson, Ian Penman, Chris Petit, Sukhdev Sandhu. Jason Wood, and Rudy Wurlitzer

Featuring music from, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Ian Dury, Robert Fripp, Wreckless Eric and Devo.

UK, Germany | 1979 | black and white | 100 minutes | English language | Original aspect ratio 1.85:1 (16x9) anamorphic | Region 2 DVD

Review

'Gloomy weather in the English soul never looked more beautiful than in Chris Petit's downbeat arthouse gem...' --Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sizzle on 15 Oct 2008
Format: DVD
If you're looking for a movie to while away a dull couple of hours & want some "easy viewing" then look elesewhere.

However, if you a reminder of the bleakness of Britain in the early 80's then check this out. I was so taken with the photography & soundtrack that the plot & characters assumed a supporting role.

Look at how bleak (not to mention empty!)the A4 looks & also Bristol.This was very much the analogue age with cassette tapes, no mobile phones, service stations which were not self service, ....it's amazing.

Yep, this is Britain as it was....
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By P. Bailey on 4 Jun 2008
Format: DVD
Ignore the previous review if you like serious film, 'Radio On' is a key British film of the 70's. A compelling look at Britain on the cusp of Thatcherism, and a rare document of the desolate state of the nation at that time. The performances are fine, and you can spot familiar faces galore from the cast (Sue the punk from Eastenders anyone?).

Add to that, one of the finest soundtracks you could wish to hear, post-punk classics from Bowie, Devo, Lydia Lunch, Kraftwerk and more contribute to the overall feeling of nostalgia. Treasure this rarity available on DVD for the first time, and don't be put off with the fact that Mr Gordon Sumner stars in it, he doesn't get enough screen time to do his cameo spoilers a la Quadrophenia.

Turn on, tune in and you won't drop off!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By patpending on 31 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
Hard to believe this marvellous film is now thirty years old. I can't think of anything else like it. If you like DVDs, this is surely a must-have.

If the plot can be summarised as "A man drives his Rover from London to Bristol along the A4, then goes to the pier at Weston Super-Mare" it is also hard to believe it could be cool.

I'm not even mentioning getting the train from Minehead...

...because if it's in black and white with a Kraftwerk/ Bowie/ new wave soundtrack, it's different. What a film should be. Makes you look at things differently and think about them.

In fact, much of the film actually has less of a soundtrack than 2009's sporting highlights do!

And there's the shots of the Westway and the pylons.

Unmissable.

Ideas like "we are the children of Wernher von Braun" are interspersed with things like "Free Astrid Proll" graffiti. If you weren't there, it sounds like an advert.

Then there's the humour. "Why do people go to the sea to die?" "I suppose it's a kind of last resort".

A beautifully-made film. Is there a moral? Don't have a girlfriend who has 28 tellies - and make sure your car insurance is third party, fire and "abandoned in quarry"...? If you can't pigeonhole it, it's because it's a landmark...

Get it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By meeky on 18 Dec 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one for those of us who don't like to either pigeon hole or be pigeon holed, and you can tell that the makers aren't going to be easily lumped in themselves. Radio On, is a classic to my mind, it effortlessly makes you feel that you have been somewhere, and you have. You meet some people along the way, and yes one of them is Sting. At the end though, well that is where you get off, or more to the point, you ain't getting on, cos that's another story. Five stars, and each of earned three times over. The film stands out so far It spills out onto the pier at one point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Nov 2013
Format: DVD
As soon as I saw Lisa Kreuzer's name on the credits of this 1979 'road movie', a film debut, written and directed by Chris Petit, I suspected there may be a link between Petit's film and the work of German Wim Wenders (who is actually Associate Producer of Petit's film), in particular with his 1976 film of the same genre, Kings Of The Road (which also featured Wenders' future wife, Kreuzer). Indeed, Petit's film is also a slow, narrative-light, but at times stylish and innovative, study of, in this case a single man's (Radio DJ, Robert B - an unanimated David Beames) journey, across a (mostly) desolate late 1970s England - from London to Bristol, to be precise - superficially to trace the roots of the recent demise of his brother but, in practice, what turns out to be more a philosophical voyage of self-discovery. In the end, despite featuring what is an outstanding, vibrant soundtrack (Bowie, Kraftwerk, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric, Jona Lewie, Devo), for me, Radio On never does quite live up to Wenders' earlier homage to the (potential) loss of cinema (among other things) - however it is a film whose hypnotic effect I have found has grown on me somewhat on repeat viewings.

Petit's film opens intriguingly as, accompanied by Bowie's song Heroes, cinematographer Martin Schafer's camera tracks slowly through a flat before alighting on an immobile (dead?) body in a bath. Thereafter, Petit's film adopts an evocatively austere, modernist depiction of 1970s Britain, via Schafer's (predominantly) bleak black-and-white shots of industrial landscapes, snow-covered fields and seemingly endless motorways, as Petit's central protagonist pursues his brother's mysterious death.
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Format: VHS Tape
I first saw Radio On in a art house cinema, not long after it was released . Its stark in outlook & captures the times, but is also timeless in so much that the under lying theme of searching for a reason for life is a quest that gives more questions than answers . Great camera work and music, a well put together film .
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