'Pirate Radio' Salutes Rebel Rock Broadcasters
While the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Who may have all ruled US airwaves in the '60s, the UK played only an hour or two of rock 'n' roll on the radio each day. Some radio DJs rebelled against the government and broadcasted from boats just off the UK territorial waters, and a new film sheds light on one of these renegade stations.
Richard Curtis -- writer and director of 'Love Actually' and screenwriter of 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and 'Notting Hill' -- dug deep into his childhood and wrote and directed his new comedy, 'Pirate Radio.' The film follows an eclectic group of rock DJs who broadcast live 24/7 from an old tanker that's been anchored in the North Sea and fight to stay on the air despite the British government's plans to shut them down.
"Every person in my generation has the same memory," Curtis said. "You would go to bed at night, put your transistor radio underneath your pillow, switch it on with its little glowing light -- and stay up late to hear this fantastic music and voices could not hear elsewhere. It was one of the things that made me love pop music most, that slight sense of it being illicit and illegal."
Reuniting 'Love Actually' alums Bill Nighy and Emma Thompson and 'Notting Hill' actor Rhys Ifans with Curtis, the all-star cast also includes Rhys Darby of 'Flight of the Conchords,' 'Mad Men' starlet January Jones and Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman as the no-holds-barred American DJ who made sure the airwaves were never dead.
Aside from its sharp dialogue saturated with British humor and historic undertones,