KCSB-FM’s film series, “Popped Culture: Radio Goes to the Movies,” returns on Thursday, November 29th, with a free 25th anniversary screening of Border Radio.
(Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss, 1987, USA: 87 minutes)
Showtime: 730pm, followed by a post-screening Q&A
with codirectors Kurt Voss & Allison Anders.
11/21/12 UPDATE: Border Radio screening previewed in Santa Barbara Independent!: CLICK HERE
Border Radio is the debut 1987 feature created by three UCLA film classmates who went on to respected careers in the world of independent cinema, including invited guest Allison Anders (writer/director of Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca, and Grace of My Heart) and confirmed guest Kurt Voss (Ghost on the Highway: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club and Down and Out with the Dolls), who will introduce the film and participate in a post-screening Q&A. If her schedule permits, Anders, a UCSB Film Professor, will participate in the latter conversation via a Skype video feed.
Border Radio‘s quirky and experimental dramatic structure, loosely inspired by film noir, provides precious glimpses of a lively punk-rock scene long since passed. Chris D. of Los Angeles punk band The Flesh Eaters and John Doe of X play major roles in the ensemble cast. Border Radio‘s other noteworthy music elements include a cameo appearance by Dave Alvin of The Blasters, plus his original score; live performances by “paisley underground” band Green on Red and glam-punk outfit Billy Wisdom and the Hee-Shees; and a number of Los Angeles rockers playing bit or walk-on roles, including Texas Terri, Tony Kinman, Texacala Jones, and Julie Christensen, who now works regularly with local writer and musician Josef Woodard.
Such cultural elements inspired KCSB’s film-series subcommittee to screen the film this year. “We’re proud to present this somewhat neglected work as the first film on our 2012-2013 ‘Popped Culture’ calendar,” says KCSB Promotions Coordinator Nick Werth. “Especially during Border Radio‘s milestone 25th anniversary year – it’s exciting to honor its creative team with a revival showing, and KCSB greatly appreciates their direct involvement with this event.” KCSB’s Development Coordinator Ted Coe adds, “The film’s setting is fascinating to many fans of contemporary rock ‘n’ roll. Border Radio should be of interest both to students involved with UCSB’s Film Department or with our radio station, along with older community members with roots in SoCal punk – and of course any fan of indie cinema.”
About Border Radio: Blending the inspiration of American film noir with an improvisatory spirit, madcap humor, and sprawling black-and-white vision reflecting a more European cinematic sensibility, Border Radio‘s guerrilla DIY production, spanning a four-year period, was consistent with the film’s flamboyant characters and 1980′s Southern California punk backdrop. Chris D. (Desjardins) plays Jeff, a musican who suddenly flees (to Mexico) after stealing money from a shady nightclub. His over-extended rock-journalist wife, Lu (Luanna Anders), connects with two of his friends, bandmate Dean (John Doe) and roadie Chris (Chris Shearer), and they each try to locate the wayward Jeff. The influences of codirecting trio Allison Anders, Kurt Voss, and Dean Lent (now a noted cinematographer) include their stint as production assistants on Wim Wenders‘ Paris, Texas, and the song “Border Radio,” by Los Angeles band The Blasters. Appreciation for the film was cemented by its 2007 DVD release by the prestigious Criterion Collection.
This film event is free and open to the public. For more information on the “Popped Culture” film series call (805) 893-3757.