Border Radio and 80s LA Punk Style

darin and i have fallen in love with the low-budget indie film Border Radio, made in 1983 (well it took them until 1987 to finish because of lack of funds) by three UCLA film students: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss, and Dean Lent and now out on Criterion collection.
 here's a great article about it if you'd like to read more.

we probably love it because it reminds us of the way we make movies: get all our friends together, make sets of our houses and hang outs, use whatever equipment we can find, throw in some vague adventurous plot, and a bunch of wacky creativity, and see what happens.

i personally love the female lead, luana anders (allison's sister). i have searched and searched for more information/photos of her to no avail.

so i took my own still shots straight from the film:

the fashion and style of this film captivates me.
luana wears the perfect blend of feminine and tough: western shirts with embroidery, leather jackets, frilly party dresses, boots, smoking cigarettes.

her character is the only one who seems to keep her head, and she's always having stern conversations with the artsy capricious men of her life trying to make them see reason.

here she is with dave alvin (yes, the dave alvin who sings this gorgeous song that anne introduced me to) trying to get some info and all he can do is flirt with her; it's a great scene. and i love her satiny geisha party dress with chunky jewelry.

again, trying to get the straight story, this time from dean.
she wears a loose oversize white blouse with a tiered, ruffled mid-length floral skirt, tights and boots.

here she is in my favorite outfit of the film: a flouncy springtime floral ruffly dress with a black jacket over it  (which has some mysterious symbols i could not make out) and black tights.
this is what she wears for a road trip to mexico in search of her husband.

in which she must be fierce and feisty, while wearing the cutest outfit ever. LOVE THAT. 

and at the end "two or six months later" talking about the book she is working on, and sporting some responsible-looking pearls and cardigan but with crazy stevie-nicks hair so she still looks fun and sassy.

all the dudes in the movie have great style too.
like drunken drifter dean, played by john doe of X, always heading off down an empty road in a little tee shirt and jeans with suspenders dangling. 

or the main character, jeff bailey played by legendary LA rocker Chris D of the flesh eaters (darin loves him) chilling in mexico in careless work shirts.
or there's always spacey surfer-dude chris in his ripped up jeans and patchwork shirt.

chris d. again as jeff, in denim vest with nothing under it.
think i can get darin to pull this look off?

dave alvin sports a jaunty bandana tied round his neck.

but best of all are the little extras, real punk rockers from the early 80s scene with cameos in the film.
 my favorite: the amazing texacala jones of tex and the horseheads.
feathers, bones, wild hair, beads, crochet, sticks, torn lace, tribal make up...this lady had some ferocious punkrock grit! 

the film features musical performances in dark little clubs and gritty studios, by such acts as Billy Wisdom and the Hee Shees.

Iris Berry plays a scenester who knows all the club gossip, in tiger print and fishnets.

 but best of all is the overall style of the film itself, wandering and playful, dark and light, like a cross between jim jarmusch and amy heckerling, from chinatown to the desert...
to burning guitars on the beach.


Nicky said…
You guys make movies with your friends??? That is the coolest thing ever! I'm gonna have to check that movie out- your lead lady sounds pretty cool. Think we're all driving the motorhome up to Washington for Thanksgiving (my parents, hubby, girls and me) to spend it with hubby's family! Gonna stop off in Placerville to drop the car parts off with a friend. I check in at Mels :D
Bee said…
love it! i thought that looked like John Doe! i am a retired punk rock chick, myself. love me some vintage punk. have you guys ever seen the movie Suburbia? it's an old cult classic punk rock film from the early 80's. it's totally fun.
Andrea said…
never seen the film, but makes me really want to :) also, that song sure is lovely! thanks for introducing it.
John Doe = <3 . I just put a request to rent this under my Netflix! Thanks :)
Missa said…
This looks awesome, off to update my netflix que!
Allison Anders said…
Allison Anders here. We are all so proud to be included in your fab blog. We love that someone took the time, and care to love our clothes and style in Border Radio. We owe it all to our actors, who wore their own stuff for the most part. Kurt Voss and I are about to start shooting the last film in the Border Radio trilogy called "Strutter" which my sister Luanna is also in, as well as Craig Stark who was in "Border Radio", and some young musicians in Los Angeles. So hopefully we can rock the clothes again! Thanks so much -- just posted it on FB and tweeted!
dean said…
how sweet. you made me see our film through someone else's watching it for the first time. thanks for making me smile.


dean lent

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