I just realized, while rewatching Pump Up the Volume, that it’s about podcasting.
Back when it came out in 1991, Christian Slater’s character had to resort to thousands of dollars in equipment and violating FCC rules to put out his pirate radio station, playing songs that were too raw or profane for commerical airwaves and making masturbation jokes.
Nowadays, though, anyone with a computer can download software, record their thoughts on teenage alienation, mix in some tracks, and be a DJ. Which means that the vision of the film, in which teenage voices are heard and the lonely find a way to reach other, has come true.
I was surprised to note that the writer/director of this film, Allan Moyle, also directed Empire Records, which makes for a nice comparison point. They’re both strong movies about the teenage experience that don’t boil down to “who’s taking me to prom?”
Put Nora in the list of significant media role models for me, along with Jordan. I like that she spoke her mind, went after what she wanted, and was interested in more than boys and fashion (although she had her own distinctive style).
Also, the soundtrack contains a terrific song, “Tale o’ the Twister”, by Chagall Guevara, the band that included 80s Christian artist Steve Taylor.
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