Canadian director 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 Marotta (Robin Johnson) is a 15-year-old delinquent and aspiring rocker with destructive inclinations while Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) is a timid, isolated girl whose wealthy father (Peter Coffield) is currently campaigning to clean up the city’s famous Times Square.
Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry) is the sympathetic laid-back late-night DJ who promotes their newly formed punk outfit, The Sleaze 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