Allan Moyle’s cult feature of 1980 is a paean to teenage rebellion, telling the story of two girls who meet in a New York psychiatric unit and, bonding through a shared sense of alienation, go on the run together in spectacular fashion.
Volatile, streetwise Nicky (Robin Johnson) is an aspiring rocker while Pamela (Trini Alvarado) is a timid, isolated girl whose wealthy father is currently campaigning to clean up the city’s famous square.
Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry) is the sympathetic late-night DJ who promotes their newly formed punk outfit, The Sleez Sisters.
In addition to gloriously gritty scenes of early-’80s New York and pre-cleanup Times Square, the film also boasts a now-legendary rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack featuring songs by The Ramones, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, The Cure, The Pretenders, Gary Numan, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads and others alongside specially composed numbers including XTC rarity Take This Town, and Flowers of the City, co-written by ex-New York Dolls frontman David Johansen.
Times Square explores themes revisited in Moyles’ Pump Up the Volume a decade later, and allusions to lesbian love have ensured repeat screenings at LGBT film festivals worldwide.
Anna Maria Horsford