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Monki makes a PROPOSITION to the fiends behind PIRATE RADIO: USA!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with one of Monki's final Bermuda Film Fest reports. This one he talks up a documentary about pirate radio (not the "Arrrr" pirates, but the little punks that Metallica and Jack Valenti hate) and a badass sounding bloody western starring Guy Pearce called THE PROPOSITION. Enjoy!

Hey there folks, Monki here in Bermuda checking out a couple more films at the Bermuda International Film Festival. I saw two completely different kinds of films today: one, an Australian western and the other, a look at the underground world of pirate radio.


Based on a true story, this film is about brotherhood and the determination to do what is right, at no matter what the cost. The film begins with a vicious shootout resulting in only a pair of brothers remaining alive. It turns out the sheriff who has captured them is hunting for their brother and if one of them will murder that sibling, he will let them both go with a full pardon.

What follows is a brutal film set in the Australian outback with some of the grittiest action I’ve seen in a long time. The British Empire is trying to “civilize” the continent and drastic tactics are being taken. Two separate stories develop as we track the brother trying to find his sibling as he travels the outback and we also watch the sheriff’s struggle to keep control of his own personal demons as he sees brutal violence and pain inflicted by his own men.

This film is the best classic western I’ve seen in a long time. The violence is horrifying, as a Western should be. The amount of dirt and blood and crap all over the actors in this movie is incredible. I’ve always imagined cowboys having a rough life, but these Australian guys are insane!

Guy Pierce channels Clint Eastwood in his performance as Charlie Burns. He is cool under pressure and can certainly handle himself. He plays Charlie as a man who is torn between honoring his blood and stopping a monster. Ray Winstone is Captain Stanley, the man who propositioned Charlie to track his brother. His performance is shattering.

John Hurt makes an appearance as a bounty hunter also looking for Charlie’s older brother. For his few scenes he does make quite an impact as well.

I am pretty sure this one has distribution, so make sure to see it if you are a fan of classic bloody westerns.


To follow The Proposition, I found myself an informative and fun documentary called Pirate Radio USA. This film was made by two pirate broadcasters and follows their journeys in illegal broadcasting over the past 7 years.

DJ Him (Jeff Pearson) and DJ Her (Mary Jones) got their start pirating radio in 1998 on a Seattle station called F.U.C.C. and have been helping the pirate revolution since.

The exploits of Him and Her go from the west coast of Seattle and San Francisco to Washington DC and Arizona. They traveled the country searching for pirates and getting their perspective on the government-run airwaves.

The information in this documentary at times is stunning. Did you know one of the biggest anti-pirate lobbyist is actually NPR? That’s right, the Public Voice wants to shut down the public in order to have a clearer signal. Fascinating.

As informative as this film is, it is also quite fun. The narrative portion of the film takes place as a pirated broadcast with DJ Him on the mic and DJ Her spinning records in the background. The people involved in the making of this film obviously had a great time, be it building model cities or climbing on top of ships to place antennas.

The heavy narration fleshes out the doc but is entertaining as well with some great quips. (Pearson is also a stand-up comedian.) This film would best be explained by saying it is like David Cringley’s documentary Triumph of the Nerds (the computer evolution documentary) but put to the radio revolution.

I expect this film to do well and to eventually have a follow-up to see the ongoing efforts of pirates nationwide. I haven’t had this much fun watching a movie about pirated radio since Pump Up the Volume.

So that wraps up the second to last night of the Bermuda International Film Festival. I’m planning on catching a couple of narratives tomorrow including the closing film Kinky Boots (which I missed at SXSW.) So until then I scurry back up my tree!


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