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We are really excited to focus an episode around the BFI Blu-ray release of Chris Petit's existential British road movie Radio On as it's a film that we had talked about for a long time. Alongside this, it gave us the perfect excuse to bring on one of our original supporters and true friend of the show, Mark Jenkin. Mark kindly took the time out from editing his new feature Enys Men, to explore why Radio On is one of his most influential films. Indeed, there is no one better to talk about the handmade sensibility of the film along with the combination of its unique aesthetics of place and time and its abstracted subjectivity of characters alienated from their social reality. 

We also discuss the film's almost singular place in British film history and examine how this is related to its European art-house sensibility, particularly in terms of the links to Wim Wenders and New German Cinema. We also discuss the way the film is structured musically, with signature Bowie tracks along with the electronic futurism of Kraftwerk and even Sting popping up to give an Eddie Cochrane tribute. There is also the question of how the film is one of the more idiosyncratic road movies, one without a specific motivation or destination, and an ending that is sublimely ambiguous and maybe even strangely uplifting.

Shownotes

John Patterson's Guardian article - A Film Without a Cinema

Oliver Lunn - BFI article on How Britain has changed since post-punk classic Radio On

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Music Credits:

‘Theme from The Cinematologists’

Written and produced by Gwenno Saunders. Mixed by Rhys Edwards. Drums, bass & guitar by Rhys Edwards. All synths by Gwenno Saunders. Published by Downtown Music Publishing.

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