Pump Up the Volume

Pump Up the Volume ★★★★

"This is vandalism, not free expression!"

I assumed that this very formative movie for me would rest mostly on nostalgia -- which is still there, intact. But also this thing, this still so thorny thing, that should be inextricably tied to its moment is instead on the "weirdly somehow still timely" playlist, sincerely very good, and the areas in which it's dated are very appropriate and still-productive ones. Its teen angst is still completely authentic but the pirate radio -- a thing that you'd expect to scan as a total relic now -- seems perfectly analogous to people pleading for justice and equality and accountability and sanity on social media. And what's more, this isn't a blanket endorsement of Happy Harry's provocations. His rhetoric has direct consequences and contradictions that he cannot morally account for despite his -- and the film's -- intentions. And the soundtrack still kills.

matt liked this review