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SFS Talkies / World Cinema Series : Radio On

What Ripe for rediscovery, Christopher Petit's post-punk journey RADIO ON (1979) has become a cult film since its initial release and is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema.
When 8 January 2008 (Tuesday), 7:30pm
Where National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897
Admission Free admission for Singapore Film Society members. Free seating. Please flash your SFS Membership card for entry.

Tickets for the public: $8 / $6.40 concession.
Counter Sales: Stamford Visitor Services Counter: 10am – 8pm;
Canning Visitor Services Counter: 10am – 5pm.
Online Booking: (click on Online Booking tab at the bottom of the webpage).
Ticketing Information: 6332 3659.
General Enquiries: 6332 5642.

Patrons are advised that a valid identity pass is required for all screenings.


A Programme of the National Museum Cinémathèque
Co-presented by the Singapore Film Society

World Cinema Series is a monthly screening of works by the boldest and most inventive auteurs from the history of cinema. This series charts both the significant and less discovered territories of cinema - from the early silent era to underground films, and new wave film movements around the world, by some of the greatest mavericks and artists of film.

Discover the wonders and possibilities of the art of cinema on the big screen – as it was meant to be seen – with the World Cinema Series, shown every second Tuesday of the month at the National Museum of Singapore.

Radio On
Dir: Chris Petit
1979 / UK, Germany / 102 min / 35 mm / Rating TBC

"One of the landmark English films of the past 30 years" - Daily Telegraph

Ripe for rediscovery, Christopher Petit\'s post-punk journey Radio On has become a cult classic since its initial release and is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema. Co-produced by Wim Wenders, Petit\'s anti-road movie follows a London DJ as he travels to Bristol to investigate the mysterious death of his brother, and offers a unique, compelling and mythic vision of a late 1970s England. Capturing the sense of faltering communication and lurking disenchantment in a country uncertain of its place and future, it remains quietly and subversively optimistic that redemptive change might come, but not necessarily from the expected sources.

The film is photographed in luminous black and white monochrome by Martin Schaefer (Paris Texas, Alice in the Cities), and driven by a stellar soundtrack featuring David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Ian Dury, Robert Fripp, Devo and Sting.

Radio On will be screened together with Radio On Remix (1998), a 24-minute video essay in which Petit revisits and compares the locales of his debut film and the subjective images they inspire, then and now.

A post-screening discussion of the film will be led by Ben Slater, a writer and editor specialising in film whose work has been published in Vertigo, Screen International and Indiewire. His book Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (Marshall Cavendish) was published in 2006, and he is the script editor on a forthcoming British feature All Day And All Night. In 1998 he helped produce Chris Petit\'s \'revisiting\' of his debut film, Radio On Remix.

Chris Petit

While working as editor of the film section of the London listings magazine Time Out in the mid 1970s, Chris Petit interested Wim Wenders in backing his first feature, Radio On (1979). In spite - or perhaps because - of having no previous film-making experience, Petit pulled off an extraordinary debut, a highly \'European\' road movie which, greatly aided by the cinematography of Wenders regular Martin Schafer, presented the British landscape, both rural and urban, in a manner quite unparalleled before or since.

After Radio On, Petit made three more impressive features: a dark, stylised adaptation of P.D. James\' An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1981) and, in Germany, the Fassbinder-ish thrillers Flight to Berlin (1983) and Chinese Boxes (1984). The last two displayed Petit\'s increasing desire to experiment with narrative forms, and marked his effective break with mainstream cinema.

During the 1990s, Chris Petit collaborated on The Cardinal and the Corpse (1992) with the poet and novelist Iain Sinclair on the first part of what would become a loose trilogy for Channel 4 about marginalised cultural figures. The other films in the series include the groundbreaking Asylum (2000) and The Falconer (1997), about the life of maverick film-maker Peter Whitehead.

In addition to being a filmmaker, Petit is also an acclaimed novelist. His writing credits include The Psalm Killer (1997), Back from the Dead (1999) and The Passenger (2006).

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