Radio On

Film Information:


Radio On




Chris Petit




35 mm


104 min


  • David Beames, Lisa Kreuzer, Sandy Ratcliff, Sting


  • GUIÓN: Chris Petit
  • FOTOGRAFÍA: Martin Schäfer
  • MONTAJE: Anthony Slowman
  • PRODUCCIÓN: Keith Griffiths


  • British Film Institute
  • Andrew Youdell
  • 21 Stephen Street
  • W1T 1LN London, England
  • T +44 20 7255 1444
  • E
  • W


Rather than the embracing of the road as the site of freedom and mobility seen in American road movies, Radio On is a distinctly British take on the genre: this is a place where the road will soon come to an end, the endless horizons replaced with concrete wastelands (echoes of J.G. Ballard are numerous and clearly intentional) and motorways. The film’s opening scenes present a dystopian London crumbling under the weight of government mismanagement, and our protagonist attending his job as a factory DJ, alone in his booth playing music to uninterested factory workers, anonymous in their identical white overalls. It’s a potent image of alienation, a recurrent subject in this and in other Petit’s work. His mise-en-scene of a pre-Thatcher Britain in post industrial decline is backed by a futurist soundtrack of Kraftwerk and Berlin era Bowie. In fact, the images sometimes seem just a (good) excuse for the songs, which are often presented in their full versions. Radio On is, for sure, a key film, not only in Petit’s work but for us, as cinema spectators.

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