Radio On

Type: New Blu-Ray

In Christopher Petit's road movie cult classic Radio On, a young radio DJ embarks on a road trip to the investigate the recent death of his brother.

Christopher Petit's debut feature Radio On is the rare road movie from England. Since its 1979 release it's become a cult classic and been recognized as one of one of the "100 Greatest British Films" (Little White Lies). Robert (David Beames), the film's enigmatic protagonist, embarks on a road trip from London to Bristol, to investigate the recent death of his brother. A remarkable collection of art rock, punk and new wave--David Bowie, Devo, Kraftwerk, Robert Fripp, Ian Dury and more--soundtracks Robert's journey. The austere urban and rural landscapes he drives through are beautifully and strikingly rendered in black and white by cinematographer Martin Shäfer (who had been Wim Wenders' camera operator). As Robert drives westward, the radio newscasts he hears and the strangers he meets address the dire sociopolitical and economic state of "Winter of Discontent"-era Britain. Petit deftly melds these stylistic, narrative and documentary elements, resulting in an undeniably eerie and reflective mood that casts a hypnotic spell on the viewer.

Bonus Materials

  • New 4K restoration from its 35mm original camera negative
  • “Before the Explosion of the Image Bank,” a newly filmed video interview with director Chris Petit
  • Newly recorded audio interview with Chris Petit
  • Newly recorded audio commentary by film historian and filmmaker Kier-La Janisse
  • Archival video interview with Chris Petit and producer Keith Griffiths
  • Radio On (remix) (1998), Chris Petit’s follow-up digital video essay with sound design by Wire’s Bruce Gilbert
  • Image Gallery
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork