A dark film about a dark era - but Chris Petit's Radio On is an incredibly striking movie, a fine period piece and arguably one of the finest road movies ever to come out of the UK.
It's a British movie, but with an undeniably German feel - hardly surprising with Wim Wenders pushing things along on the production side and Wenders collaborator Martin Schafer dealing with the monochrome photography. But it is a film very much about life in Britain, capturing the country at the dawn of Thatcherism - in the grip of economic and social decline.
The loose plot (with very sparse dialogue) follows Robert (David Beames), a London DJ who receives news of his brother's mysterious death. At a crossroads in both his personal and professional life, he takes to the road - heading for Bristol to find out the truth behind his death. On his way, he meets people as lost as himself - a squaddie on leave of duty from Northern Ireland, a wannabe rock star (played by Sting) and a German woman (Ingrid - Lisa Kreuzer) on the hunt for her child. All soundtracked by one of the finest selections of music ever compiled for as movie - including Kraftwerk, David Bowie, Devo, Robert Fripp and Wreckless Eric. Does he find out the truth behind his brother's death? Not really - but he does come to the end of the line as the plot jumps from whodunnit to a tale of a man (like many at the time) struggling to find direction in his life.