Border Radio

Screening on Film
Directed by Alison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss.
With Chris D., Chris Shearer, Luanna Anders.
US, 1987, 35mm, color, 83 min.
Print source: Chris D. Collection at the Academy Film Archive

Directed by Allison Anders and two of her UCLA film school classmates over the course of four years, Border Radio is a low-key, low-budget black-and-white punk film noir. Half-improvised along the fuzzy edges of reality and fiction, the film was shot mostly guerilla-style and featured friends and relatives of the filmmakers, including punk legend Chris D. of the Flesh Eaters and X's John Doe – the first in his now-lengthy filmography. The story of a musician on the lam pursued by his wife and a few erratic cohorts evolves into a peculiarly funny chronicle of a specific time and place. Borrowing elements from disparate regions of the film genre lexicon — with echoes of Jarmusch and Wenders — Border Radio takes on a naturalistic, rambling life of its own as it captures all the wit, chaos, angst and regret of 1980s LA punk subculture in decline.

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