Tune in this Wednesday to the gauzone melody of Chris Petit’s remarkable 1979 debut film ‘Radio On’.
Mythic landscapes and a stalled, broken down UK rendered starkly and beautifully unlovely in an existential road movie that was said at the time to be a film without a (national) cinema to belong to. Check the misty Bowie soundtracked trailer here:
Petit was ‘in love with the sensual delight of a camera moving forward through space. The film is peppered with long, coldly stirring shots from B’s clappedout Rover, moving through a series of defamiliarised, Ballardian English landscapes the Westway at night, the M4, Hopperesque filling stations in deepest Wiltshire, and what Petit’s collaborator Iain Sinclair refers to as “typically featureless Petit fields”. Between them Petit and Schafer attempt to remake our understanding of British urban space, much as Godard discerned contemporary Paris’s futuristic foreignness in Alphaville. The opening shot… passes a handwritten sign reading, “We are the children of Fritz Lang and Wernher von Braun” and comes to rest… to the sound of David Bowie singing Heroes/Helden, half in English, half in German. Already we are are in unfamiliar territory.’ John Patterson The Guardian
After the screening there will be a Q&A hosted by filmmaker (and Piet Zwart Institute course director) Simon Pummel with Keith Griffiths, UK cinema’s ‘great facilitator’ and producer of ‘Radio On’as well as countless other stand-out films such as Laura Mulvey/Peter Wollen’s ‘Riddles of the Sphinx’, Peter Strickland’s ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ and Apichpatpong Weerasethakul’s ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Subscribe Share Past Issues
To close the evening we’ll screen Chris Petit’s 1998 Radio On Remix where he refilmed some of the films original locations, reflecting poetically on a different time and vastly changed cultural and physical landscape.
Radio On is programmed by Niek Hilkmann and presented with Piet Zwart Institute’s Master in Media Design & Communication (Lens Based Media / Networked Media) as one in a series of events devoted to the compact cassette tape at WORM.