Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation NationJoan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

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Page updated on January 18, 2018
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25 Movies We Can't Wait to See at Sundance 2018

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Back in 1978 -- just a hair short of 40 years ago, in fact -- Robert Redford and a handful of fellow Utah residents decided to start a film festival in Salt Lake City. The focus, they said, would be on American "independent" movies; "what the hell is an independent movie, exactly?" was the reply. There had been a thriving filmmaking underground for decades, as well as various folks who'd made work outside of the studio system. But the idea of the adjective becoming a catch-all term divorced from economics or patronage -- something that would also encompass an aesthetic, a sensibility, a community and a dozen different D.I.Y. subgenres, the cinematic equivalent of "college rock" -- was not on anybody's minds. They just wanted to provide a focal point for the free-radical mavericks floating around and a forum for voices that weren't getting heard in the mainstream. The faith was that if they built it, filmmakers and fanatics would come.

One significant name change, one major locale switch to Park City, dozens of tweaks/additions (brand-name sponsors and other red-carpetbaggers, beefed-up foreign-film sections, "New Frontier" and V.R. sidebars) and several thousand movies later, it's safe to say that yes, they built it -- and yes, four decades later, we're still coming. When the Sundance Film kicks off its 2018 edition on January 18th, everyone from critics to cinephiles to the celeb-spotting curious descend on the ski-resort town in the hopes of catching the next Reservoir Dogs, or The Blair Witch Project, or Little Miss Sunshine, or Boyhood, or Call Me By Your Name. And by the time the annual event closes up shop on the 28th, there's a huge chance that we will have seen a smattering of movies that we'll be talking about for the rest of the year and/or the rest of filmgoing lives.

Here are 25 from this year's lineup that have us salivating -- from docu-profiles on musicians, artists and iconoclasts to left-field biopics on raunchy comedians, black metal Norwegians and paraplegic cartoonists, postapocalyptic character studies to sociopolitical satires. Oh, and one in which Nicolas Cage totally loses his cool and flies into a bloody rage.

'Bad Reputation'
She don't give a damn about her bad reputation -- but fuck if JOAN JETT has not benefited from her decades-long reputation as being one of rock & roll's premier badasses. Having done music docs on everyone from Bob Marley to Nirvana, director Kevin Kerslake gets a handful of collaborators and the heavily mascaraed lady herself to tell her story -- from RUNAWAYS guitarist to leader of the BLACKHEARTS, mainstream pop-charter (you could not escape "I Love Rock & Roll' back in the day) to elder stateswoman of a sticking-to-your-guns musical/feminist ethos. All hail the queen.


JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS - "Science Fiction/Double Feature"
from: YouTube

SCIENCE FICTION/DOUBLE FEATURE (From the album Dr. Demento Covered In Punk)

JOAN JETT - Guitars, Lead Vocals
Sami Yaffa - Bass
KENNY LAGUNA - Keyboards, Background Vocals, and Percussion

Produced by KENNY LAGUNA
Recorded, engineered, and mastered by Peter Kuperschmid at Soundnet Studios, Long Beach, New York.
Mastered By Alan Douches
Courtesy Of BLACKHEART RECORDS Group, Inc.

Sundance '18 unveils panels and off-screen events line up
low resolution image Not Enlargeable The 2018 Sundance Film Festival has finalized its panels and off-screen events schedule ahead its launch next week in Park City, Utah.

The 10-day festival will feature intersectional conversations on gender and diversity representation, power dynamics and bias in media, as well as behind-the-scenes panels on the art of filmmaking.

Anchoring the Utah-set festival's documentary installments is the 'Art of Film Weekend' series (Jan. 26-28). Unearthing the Past -- Art of Film Weekend will convene non-fiction filmmakers to discuss their innovative approaches through archive materials to craft artful representations of the past while re-contextualizing the present.

Featured in the discussion will be A Thousand Thoughts director Joe Bini, 306 Hollywood filmmakers Elan and Jonathan Bogarín, Bisbee '17 helmer Robert Greene, Our New President director Sierra Pettengil, and Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind filmmaker Marina Zenovich.

Alissa Wilkinson of Vox will moderate the Jan. 27 panel discussion.

The Sundance Institute Film Music Program will also present a one-night only performance by JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. The Jan. 20 event, 'A Celebration of Music and Film', will be part of a celebration of Kevin Kerslake's biography on Jett, Bad Reputation (pictured), which world premieres on Jan. 22.


Sundance 2018 Preview: From JOAN JETT to Usher, The Most Anticipated Music Films
low resolution image Not Enlargeable The Sundance film festival has long showcased breakout actors and potential Academy Award contenders. But in 2018, major music artists will be driving much of the conversation at the annual film summit in Park City, Utah. "This, by far, was the year with the most options," says Jarom Rowland, senior manager of the festival's film music program.

The fest has already established its music-documentary bona fides with premieres of the Oscar-winning films Searching for Sugar Man in 2012 and 20 Feet From Stardom in 2013. The long-awaited MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. will be unveiled on Jan. 21 after years of delays; it captures the life and provocative art of M.I.A. by using an archive of the Sri Lankan performer's own footage. Punk trailblazer JOAN JETT is the subject of Bad Reputation, named after her defiant rock'n'roll anthem: Directed by music video veteran Kevin Kerlsake, the doc charts the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's rise from 1970s band The RUNAWAYS to mainstream solo stardom.

Established actors, meanwhile, are turning their attention to music stories. Ethan Hawke co-wrote and directed Blaze, the saga of country great and Texas outlaw Blaze Foley, with Arkansas rocker Benjamin Dickey in the lead role; Hearts Beat Loud finds actor-comedian Nick Offerman portraying the owner of a failing record store in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood who rekindles his musical ambition after an impromptu jam session with his college-bound daughter. Finally, R&B superstar Usher appears in Burden, about a breakaway Ku Klux Klan member who takes refuge in a black church community. With such a promising selection, Rowland admits that some quality projects simply couldn't be squeezed in: "Turning down [those other] films was heartbreaking."

A new documentary about JOAN JETT titled Bad Reputation will premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival
low resolution image Not Enlargeable A new documentary about JOAN JETT titled Bad Reputation will premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, scheduled from January 18 to 28 at a number of locations in Utah.

The movie follows Jett's life story from her early career with the all-female rock band The RUNAWAYS, to the start of her partnership with her longtime manager and collaborator KENNY LAGUNA, to her enduring success fronting her group The BLACKHEARTS.

Bad Reputation was directed by veteran music-video director Kevin Kerslake, whose previous films include As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM, Nirvana's Live! Tonight! Sold Out!, and The Ramones' We're Outta Here. The Jett documentary is the first in a planned series of music-related movies and TV programs from the BMG record label and publishing company.

"We are incredibly excited and proud [of Bad Reputation]," says BMG executive Justus Haerder. "JOAN JETT is an American icon and Kevin Kerslake has created a superb documentary which really captures her story."

Bad Reputation, the JOAN JETT Story
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Bad Reputation, director Kevin Kerslake's new documentary on the life and career of JOAN JETT, will have its world premier at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival which will be held January 18-28, 2018 in Park City, Salt Lake City and Sundance, Utah. The documentary is said to chronicle "her early years as the founder of The RUNAWAYS and first meeting collaborator KENNY LAGUNA in 1980 to her enduring presence in pop culture as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer."

Bad Reputation is one of several new documentaries planned by media giant BMG over the next year in an effort to break into the growing video market for music content on iTunes and Spotify. Other films include The Children of the Revolution about Marc Bolan better known as T-Rex, Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records, and The Show's The Thing about the first generation of rock concert promoters.


low resolution image Not Enlargeable About
JOAN JETT is so much more than "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." It's true, she became mega-famous from the number-one hit, and that fame intensified with the music video's endless play on MTV. But that staple of popularity can't properly define a musician. Jett put her hard work in long before the fame, ripping it up onstage as the backbone of the hard-rock legends The RUNAWAYS, influencing many musicians-both her cohort of punk rockers and generations of younger bands-with her no-bullshit style.

Bad Reputation gives you a wild ride as Jett and her close friends tell you how it really was in the burgeoning '70s punk scene, and their interviews are laced with amazing archival footage. The theme is clear: even though people tried to define Jett and keep her stuck to one hit, she never compromised. She will kick your ass, and you'll love her all the more for it.

Mon. 1/22, 2:30 p.m., MARC, PC
Tue. 1/23, 8:30 p.m., Egyptian, PC
Fri. 1/26, 3:00 p.m., Redstone 7, PC
Sat. 1/27, 9:30 p.m., Wagner, SLC


JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS performing at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on New Year’s Eve

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