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Monday 08 November 2010

Ladies: we give you Joan Jett

Posted in: Movies
By Jacqui Stanford - 5th July 2010


The Runaways
Director: Floria Sigismondi

Running time: 109 mins
Censor Rating: R16 -drug use, sex scenes, offensive language 

Festivals: Sundance, SXSW 2010

I am a music nerd. I have always lived my life with a soundtrack running beside it and when I hear certain songs or artists I am cast back in time in an instant – from Believe or Not I'm Walking on Air evoking my barefoot Taranaki childhood, to the Smashing Pumpkins reminding me of kissing guys as a teenager (ick!), all the way through to Damien Rice and pretty memories of my first female love.

When I came out around four or five or years ago I was instantly compelled to listen to rebel girls, riot girls and raucous girls – and there was one woman who was smack bang in the centre of them all: Joan Jett.

So as you can imagine I am overwhelmingly excited that The Runaways will show at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Starring Twilight vixen Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as drug-addled lead singer Cherie Currie, the film explores the all-girl teen band that launched Jett's career in the 1970s.

Vanity Fair reviews the film as "aggressive, raw, and amped up on frenetic – and sexual – hunched-punk intensity, Stewart's Jett smokes, snorts, and struts with abandon… Then there's Fanning as Currie, the kittenish blonde who fronts the band like a female crossbreed of Ziggy Stardust and Keith Richards… The sheer force of the girl-power energy… combined with the contagious ferocity of the music will leave you jumpy – in a good way."

The Runaways only lasted four years as a band, whipping out influential tracks like Cherry Bomb, Queens of Noise, Rock n Roll and Born to Be Bad. After they broke up Jett went on to start her own label and become a female rock and roll icon.

Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett
Kristen Stewart is gorgeous, but the role of Joan Jett seems like a pretty big stretch from the wide-eyed Bella in the Twilight series – if she can pull this role off she will rise immensely in my esteem!

Check out this review of The Runaways from Stephanie Zacharek of

"Even if you'd never heard them, you wouldn't have had any trouble understanding what The Runaways were about: this was a bunch of tough-looking Los Angeles girls who may have been brought together by a sleazy, exploitative impresario named Kim Fowley… With their jagged feathered hair and satin jumpsuits, they were girls you wanted to be, less sugar and spice than glamour and sweat...
Even though there's always some rock 'n' roll wanker – usually a guy – on hand to volunteer, 'I was on the scene, and that's not how it went down,''the best rock 'n' roll movies are less about strict authenticity than about capturing a vibe. And The Runaways gets the vibe just right."

For ticket information go to the New Zealand International Film Festival website

The trailer for The Runaways is below.

Jacqui Stanford - 5th July 2010

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