2 October 2010


The Runaways – Floria Sigismondi

A film about a band/musician. A common theme this year with a couple of British releases looking at famous artists, and Hollywood throws their effort into the ring, and it’s about the all woman band The Runaways. A band i don’t know much about, just that the lead singer was Joan Jett and she went onto to write a couple of songs i know about, and that’s it. Going into it not knowing about the band, i wanted to relive their era, their presence and what they are all about. And i think for the first time this year, it delivers. With a different art style which seemingly combines the era and the fascination of the band together to form a bubble gum pop/rock and roll biographical film about an all woman band playing in a male world. It has some decent performances with the lead two actresses which you wouldn’t suspect, but the film stealer goes to the great actor Michael Shannon as the band manager who teaches them that sex sells. In the 70’s, the band exploded onto the scene, showing woman and how damn sexy they can be whilst not giving a total fuck about anyone else but the music. It was dangerous but at the same time, people fucking loved it, men and woman both. The band drummed up the first female success that led to many female musicians learning from this band and using that same style and pushing it to the next level. The Runaways have defiantly influenced a lot of people but at the same time, the band also showed some of the wrong choices to do with rock and roll band.

Following the plot of the film, the fall and rise of the band, it starts with a young female singer and guitar player Joan Jett meeting a famous producer outside a club and he introduces her to a drummer named Sandy West and this is how the band is made. They bring in a bassist and a guitarist and the band seems to be complete. Until Kim tells them they need a vocalist that will bring in the crowds. The songs are written by Joan and the band whilst the new singer will just be the face (and body) of the band, to symbolise the woman’s strength and their sexuality. They find the young and innocent Cherie, played eerily by the seemingly older Dakota Fanning. Seeing the young actors from years ago now older to play adult characters is very strange, it will take a little while to adjust seeing Fanning this way. So the band is made, the songs are complete and they cause a stir with their energetic live performances and catchy songs. The bad soon make wrong choices, mainly with Cherie, who leads the band into the wrong direction. They soon split but in a good way.

The film is enjoyable in parts and isn’t as annoying as I’d thought it is, so it’s worth checking it out, defiantly captures the style of the era, and makes it a fun watch.


Simon Childs

No comments: