Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

January 2010 News

Page updated on January 31, 2010
All news is attributed to the source from which it was received so that readers may judge the validity of the statements for themselves.

Have Joan Jett news to report? Email us at jettfc@aol.com, and please include the source of the information so it can be validated.



Sundance loves rock 'n' roll with Jett's 'RUNAWAYS,' starring Stewart, Fanning
from: metronews.ca

low resolution image Not Enlargeable PARK CITY, Utah - JOAN JETT kicked open doors for women to rock out in a man's music world. So when the time came for a film drama on how she got her start, Jett wanted to be on hand to help make sure the story was told right.

Jett was an executive producer for "The RUNAWAYS," a Sundance Film Festival premiere that spins the raucous tale of her first band in the 1970s. The all-girl group of teenagers - branded as a gimmick at the time - left behind some hard-rocking music in their short time together.

"Twilight" star Kristen Stewart plays Jett and her "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" colleague Dakota Fanning plays Cherie Currie, the RUNAWAYS' lead singer. The film captures the hurdles they faced at a time when the notion of female guitar gods was practically unheard of.

[more]


Sundance Festival 2010: Q&A The RUNAWAYS
from: festival.sundance.org

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"Some movies at Sundance change your life," Festival Director John Cooper said before The RUNAWAYS premiered on Sunday night. ÒAnd some movies at Sundance just rock." Read what the film's cast -- including Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning -- and the director, Floria Sigismondi, had to say about making the movie after its Sunday night premiere.

The RUNAWAYS is a love letter to the era and place it portrays -- the rock scene in L.A. during the mid to late 70s -- but it's also a glitzy ode to the sneering little punks who made up The RUNAWAYS. The fact that the five members of The RUNAWAYS were adolescent girls was, at the time, something unprecedented and, according to The RUNAWAYS, often unwanted; with their gifted but creepy manager, Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon), The RUNAWAYS cut a glam, hard-edged swath through the music scene and eventually (but briefly) made their hard-earned experiment a success. Some of the band's members -- JOAN JETT (Kristen Stewart) and Lita Ford, for example -- had success later, on their own, while the band's lead singer, Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), couldn't overcome her addictions and doubts about the band's future. ÒSome movies at Sundance change your life," Festival Director John Cooper said before The RUNAWAYS premiered on Sunday night. ÒAnd some movies at Sundance just rock." Saying that Òwhat drew me to this story was what these girls did for it," RUNAWAYS director Floria Sigismondi, the cast, and Cherie Currie and JOAN JETT answered the audience's questions after the film's premiere.

Q: What do you love most about your art?
Sigismondi:
Doing it, I think. The process, just sitting there and coming up with ideas. And seeing those ideas come into the physical, physical world is the most exciting thing.

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Eight New Images From The RUNAWAYS
from: hitfix.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable So just how accurate is "The RUNAWAYS," the new movie celebrating the pioneering female rock group that included JOAN JETT, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie?

Hitfix got the chance to ask Currie when we sat down with her during the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie premiered Jan. 24. Were she and Jett lovers, as the movie implies? Did Kim Fowley have local boys throw dog poop at the girls to toughen them up? How did Robert Plant's advice land the girls in jail? What shocking tragedy did the film makers leave out? What misunderstanding did she and Jett resolve last month, 30 years after the band's break up?

The film, based on her autobiography "Neon Angel," opens wide March 19. Currie is also preparing a new version of "Neon Angel" that comes out March 17.

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Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning See Double at 'RUNAWAYS' Premiere
from: popeater.com

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Rock 'n Roll rebels and teen stars came together in an unlikely pairing in Park City, Utah this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of 'The RUNAWAYS.'

The biopic, which tells the story of "jailbait rock" band The RUNAWAYS, stars some of Hollywood's most recognizable young faces, including Kristen Stewart, playing JOAN JETT, Dakota Fanning, who plays RUNAWAYS lead singer Cherie Currie, and 'Arrested Development' actress Alia Shawkat.

The evening before the premiere, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS performed to a packed crowd at the Harry O's concert series. People reports that during the band's performance, Jett brought Stewart and Fanning onstage, thanking them for their performances in the film.

Stewart showed equal excitement for the festival, telling MTV, "The coolest thing about Sundance is coming back and seeing the people you made the movies with...Everyone on 'The RUNAWAYS,' we became really close. Me and Dakota are really close. I love that she can see [my other Sundance film 'Welcome to the Rileys'] with me."

The following day, the actresses and their real-life counterparts posed for photos on the red carpet at the film's premiere.



The RUNAWAYS - A conventionally enjoyable making-and-breaking-of-the-band saga.
from: variety.com.com

All-girl teenage band "The RUNAWAYS," once regarded as a prefab joke but now lionized as trailblazers, are the subject of Floria Sigismondi's first feature. Despite the helmer's multidisciplinary background, this proves a conventionally enjoyable making-and-breaking-of-the-band saga. Apparition plans a wide release May 19, which may lead to quick theatrical playoff since, apart from RUNAWAYS fans, the pic's ideal audience -- teenage girls who will find it inspirational and cool -- won't necessarily flock to an unfamiliar 35-year-old story. But the names of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning at the top of the cast will help, and long ancillary life is assured.

The film was exec produced by JOAN JETT, with Sigismondi's script drawn from Cherie Currie's 1989 autobiography "Neon Angel," and made with cooperation from other former RUNAWAYS (save subsequent heavy-metal guitar queen Lita Ford, who, not surprisingly, isn't given much screen time or sympathy).

This is in contrast to the 2005 feature doc "Edgeplay: A Film About the RUNAWAYS," in which everyone but Jett was involved. The docu dished a lot more dirt than this narrative recap, which both sweetens the band's tumultuous history and makes it a more traditional cautionary tale about the wild side of rock 'n' roll.

"The RUNAWAYS" does a good job setting the scene without laying on too much retro kitsch. It dutifully recalls the formation of the band: Rhythm guitarist Jett (Stewart) and drummer Sandy West (Stella Maeve) are hanging out in the Bacchanalian mid-'70s when they petition patronage from songwriter/producer/gadfly Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon), who likes their idea of assembling an all-girl (and well-underage) hard-rock group.

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Star-studded "RUNAWAYS" premiere
from: blogs.sltrib.com

One night after JOAN JETT's triumphant concert at Harry O's on Main Street in Park City, the film "The RUNAWAYS" finally opened to a full house at the Eccles Center.

JOAN JETT and Cherie Currie, the two leaders of the all-girl band of the 1970s called The RUNAWAYS, were on hand and were available for questions after the film, as well as stars Michael Shannon, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.

Shannon never spoke, as most of the questions from the audience focused on the strong women characters, directed by a woman.

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Sundance Review: Kristen Stewart And Dakota Fanning's 'RUNAWAYS'
from: mtv.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Sex, drugs, rock n' roll and the girls from "Twilight"?!? Don't have too big a laugh though because Kristen Stewart and most especially Dakota Fanning rock the house with the best of them in "The RUNAWAYS," an electrifying if formulaic account of the brief rise and fall of the titular band.

Forget the executive producer credit for JOAN JETT, the true telling credit for the film is where director Floria Sigismondi found her source material--lead singer Cherie Currie's memoir.

Indeed, "The RUNAWAYS" is owned and just about swallowed up by Fanning's riveting portrayal of the singer (not too dissimilar from the way Currie overwhelmed the group). First glimpsed as a teen literally transforming into a woman, this is the performance that seems sure to launch Fanning into a new thrilling phase of her career. From a sulking broodish David Bowie enthusiast to a howling rock goddess Fanning sells sells sells. I'd watch that band. Hells yeah.

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Sundance 2010: "RUNAWAYS" rocks the Rockies
from: nypost.com

Kristen Stewart plays JOAN JETT in "The RUNAWAYS," Jett's first, all-girl punk band in 1975 LA, but to my surprise this standard (with a small twist) sex-drugs-and-rock (chick) flick actually stars Dakota Fanning as the band's combustible, drug-stuffed lead singer Cherie Currie. The film has a certain energy, but it's a bit of an odd duck for a rock movie because the band never made it big (though Jett later would; her success is glanced at in a coda) and imploded before much happened other than cult success in Japan. The enthusiastic audience seemed to receive it as a female-power movie. Well, since the band members go heavy on the drinking and drugging and fighting (just about the biggest fight is a catty one, a dispute about who gets to be photographed for which magazine), their value as role models is not unquestionable.

Fanning gets the juicy part in the movie -- her character is the one with the arc, turning from an ordinary shy suburban sweetie with a yearning to wear makeup like David Bowie and hang around cool rocks clubs into a sullen ego-monster who dresses in bustiers, thigh-highs and garter belts -- but Stewart gets to indulge in lots of bad behavior too. The real reason to see the movie, though, is neither of them: Michael Shannon steals the show (does he ever not?) as the band's sexually ambiguous manager, a glammed-up cynic who puts the band together, writes songs for them on the fly and toughens them up by screaming at them to be nastier and more aggressive and bringing in neighborhood boys with orders to fling soda cans and dog turns at them. While Stewart and Fanning fight (and flirt, and even make out), the manager barks out rock directives, telling them to be bitchier, hornier, to sell sex and rebellion instead of just music. As the movie goes on, it makes an interesting point about how doing the standard rock pose in an effort to sell yourself to the kids can lead to the kind of actually obnoxious, egotistical and self-destructive behavior that takes away (or even, in this case, prevents) your success. So the formula for making it big also contains a built-in failure code, or at least it did in the 60s and 70s. In the 80s bands started to wise up and act more like professional businesses.

I'm not sure director Floria Sigismondi is even aware that the Shannon character is more interesting than the two girl leads, though; she seems to think he's just a colorful sideman to a story about the rise, fall and ultimate semi-redemption of Cherie Currie, upon whose memoir the film is based. But Currie is kind of a standard-issue figure, never went on to anything, and is of limited interest. Still, the movie does feature, before the end credits, one of the great and-this-is-what-became-of-the-hero titles I've seen: "She is now a chainsaw artist working in the San Fernando Valley." Apparition is releasing this movie in March.



Sundance Review: The RUNAWAYS
from: cinematical.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable I'll be blunt about this: I really wasn't looking forward to this movie. I'm not the biggest fan of lip-chewing, hair-twirling Kristen Stewart, or the wide-eyed, blank face expert Dakota Fanning. I love rock and roll (so put another dime in the jukebox, baby) as much as the next person, but these two starring in a movie about an all-girl, teen sensation, flash in the pan band from the 1970s? I just didn't think they could pull it off. Hey, at least I'm big enough to admit I was wrong. The RUNAWAYS rocked the JOAN JETT / Cherie Currie backstory's pants off (literally), and I'll be buying the soundtrack, which features K-Stew and D-Fan singing the blasts from the past.

However, this movie really should have been called The JOAN JETT & Cherie Currie Show, because the other RUNAWAYS are hardly featured in this movie at all. Sandy West (who co-founded the band with JOAN JETT), and Lita Ford's stories aren't given much attention in the film, and Ford seems to exist just to cause drama. Additionally, The RUNAWAYS had six different bass players during their short four-year history (including Micki Steele who went on to The Bangles) so the filmmakers decided to create a fictional girl named Robin Robins. She's played by Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame, and she unfortunately gets only one or two lines.

Although he's not given as much screen time as Fanning and Stewart, Michael Shannon takes this movie, straps it to his back, and walks away with it completely. He plays their over the top manager Kim Fowley, and he looks like Frankenstein meets David Bowie. He chews up scenery left and right and steals every moment he's onscreen, even when he has no lines. At one point, he just gives a monsterly grimace on the other end of a phone call, and owns that entire moment. When he realizes he's bottled the lightning, he caws "You bitches are gonna be bigger than the fucking Beatles!" Although the relationship between Currie and Jett is caustic at times, Fowley is definitely the bad guy in this movie.

In the effort of cramming their story into two hours, the film rushes through the JOAN JETT story as she rags on her guitar teacher for trying to instruct her with "On Top Of Old Smoky" and telling her "Girls don't play electric guitar." In a blink, she's meeting Kim Fowley at Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco in Hollywood, and Fowley, smelling money and opportunity, introduces Jett to drummer Sandy West. They start jamming with Fowley listening, who is seemingly coked to the gills with a bent towards pedophilia. He decides the band needs, as he so eloquently illustrates with his finger pointed at a woman's crotch, more sex. He and Jett go trolling for the face of the band back at Bingenheimer's, where they find Mountain Dew-sipping Fanning, complete with feathered-blonde hair, and ask her to audition.

[more]


Harsh words from JOAN JETT inspire Twilight actress
from: canada.com

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PARK CITY, Utah -- Kristen Stewart stops herself before she articulates the exact words spoken to her by JOAN JETT when she strapped on the electric guitar to play the '70s-era rock chick.

One might say the Twilight star even looks trepidatious, despite the tight black pants and mug shot hoodie that lend her an air of bulletproof toughness. And no wonder, when the words finally come out, they're evocative -- not to mention a tad obscene.

ÒPut your p--- to the wood! F-- your guitar!Ó says Stewart, citing Jett.

[more]


JOAN JETT keeps the love of rock 'n' roll alive at Sundance
from: deseretnews.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Harry O's, Park City, Jan. 23

PARK CITY -- It's hard to believe that JOAN JETT has been in the music business for more than 30 years. She still has the voice, the guitar chops and the attitude.

And she still looks like the impish punk that took the world by storm with her solo works during the '80s.

When she kicked off her set at Harry O's in Park City Saturday night with "Bad Reputation," it was the '80s once more.

Jett not only performed her hits, including Tommy James' "Crimson and Clover," but also included her remakes of Bruce Springsteen's "Light of Day" and Sly Stone's "Everyday People," the latter during her encore.

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Biopic of JOAN JETT's first band powers on
from: sltrib.com

JOAN JETT loves independent film.

From 2000 to 2003, the 51-year-old rock icon hosted a showcase of new film and video shorts, titled "Independent Eye," for Maryland Public Television.

Today she is the executive producer of the new film "The RUNAWAYS," which premieres today at the Sundance Film Festival. It will be released in theaters nationwide on March 19.

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JOAN JETT Only Gets Better with Time
from: buzzfoto.com

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JOAN JETT is at Sundance and last night she gave an incredible performance at Harry O's! We had not seen Joan perform in over thirty years since her days with The RUNAWAYS, but like a bottle of fine Bordeaux, she only gets better with time. The RUNAWAYS lead singer Cherie Curie, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart all joined Joan onstage for the performance and the crowd went nuts!



JOAN JETT rock 'n roll at Sundance
from: CNN.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT walked into the hotel suite today for our interview looking like, well, a rock star. She is unmistakable with her trademark jet black spiked hair, an air of confidence (because hey, she's done this a few times), heavy eyeliner, and dressed head to toe in rock star black (and gray).

We talked about the film "The RUNAWAYS" which is premiering here at Sundance. It focuses on Jett's early days on the music scene (1970s) with her all-girl group "The RUNAWAYS". Kristen Stewart ("Twilight"s Bella) portrays Jett.

Jett, who's also executive producer on the film, told me she's psyched about how it turned out and feels Kristen did a stellar job.

After our chat, Joan surprised my photographer Chris and me with a real treat...her album "JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Greatest Hits", which doesn't come out until March 9th. She then grabbed a sharpie and wrote "To Brooke...Keep Rockin'...Love, JOAN JETT." So cool. Oh yeah...this chick is also eco-friendly...the album packaging is made from 100% recycled paper. "I love rock 'n roll"...don't you?



Cherie Currie on her wild years with the RUNAWAYS
from: guardian.co.uk

The RUNAWAYS were the original 'rock chicks', a wild all-girl teen band whose story is told in a film that opens today. Cherie Currie, the band's singer, tells us how it really was...

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Cherie Currie was 15 when she started scandalising middle America. That was when she auditioned to become the lead singer of all-female teenage rock band the RUNAWAYS, a group that would send shockwaves through the suburbs with their attitude-fuelled performances and sexually explicit lyrics.

Their first single, "Cherry Bomb", talked unapologetically about "wild girls" and "street boys" and several radio stations refused to give it airtime. Currie would routinely appear on stage wearing stockings, suspenders and a tight-fitting basque so that even the reliably liberal Village Voice was moved to denounce the girls as "bimbos".

The year was 1976. Jimmy Carter was about to be elected president. It seemed America was not yet ready for five adolescent females who played their own instruments and sang openly about sex. But Currie didn't care. "We truly believed girls could play rock'n'roll," she says now from her home in Los Angeles. "We knew we were going into unknown territory. We had to fight on a daily basis, especially with a lot of male bands who didn't take us seriously." She gives a long, throaty laugh. "I look back 30 years and I still can't believe it."

Now, the story of the band is to be immortalised in a film, The RUNAWAYS, which premieres at this year's Sundance film festival and which is partially based on Currie's brutally honest memoir, Neon Angel. Kristen Stewart, the star of the popular Twilight franchise, is cast as the feisty guitarist JOAN JETT while Currie is played by Dakota Fanning. "Seeing [her] playing me is so off-the-map it's incredible," says Currie, who was a frequent visitor to the set. "I can't even digest it. She's so together, which I was not at that age... She came to my house one afternoon and we sang back and forth so that she could get the inflections, and she nailed it."

Stewart learned to mimic JOAN JETT's mannerisms with such devastating effect that Currie could barely tell the difference. "I got a phone call one day and there was this voice going 'Hey Cherie', and I thought it was Joan, I said: 'Oh my god, are you in town?'" In reality it was Stewart playing a practical joke.

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She's your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!
from: saltlakemagazine.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Every few years, a veteran of the rock and roll rat race enjoys a rebirth.

JOAN JETT might be on the verge of one of those comebacks right now thanks to her relentless drive as a performer, and a new film biography that's premiering during this year's Sundance Film Festival.

The movie is called The RUNAWAYS, named after the band Jett played with as a Los Angeles teenager back in the '70s. The movie has had a lot of advance buzz already because the young Jett is played by Kristen Stewart, star of the Twilight movies. At the very least, that should be enough to draw scores of teenage girls to watch the beginnings of one of modern rock's most significant female figures.

[more]


Out and about at Sundance: JOAN JETT, The Fray and much more
from: sltrib.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS

Show of the week - The hard-rocking and fiercely independent female pioneer JOAN JETT is in Utah to promote "The RUNAWAYS," for which she served as executive producer, as it chronicles the challenges and trailblazing of her first band of the same name. While in town, she will regroup with The BLACKHEARTS to play selections from her greatest hits, which include so much more than just the anthem "I Love Rock and Roll." In a Tribune interview, Jett said her parents always told her to be whatever she wanted. "I still am that musician," she said of her former young rocker self. "I still thought we could change the world." The film and her life have one overarching message, she said: "Follow JOAN JETT and her band The BLACKHEARTS will perform Saturday at Harry O's. your dreams." Throw another dime in the jukebox, indeed.

When - Jan. 23 at 9 p.m.
Where - Harry O's, 427 Main St., Park City
Tickets - $65 at https://ticketdriver.com/harry_o/buy/tickets



Eight New Images From The RUNAWAYS
from: filmshaft.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable If "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" wasn't enough of a fix for Kristen Stewart fans last year, if the impending "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" is just too long to wait for your next fix, then you can at least rest easy in the knowledge that Stewart will be hitting the big screen sooner than you think as Jonah Jet in the big screen biopic of The RUNAWAYS.

With the film hitting theatres in just a few short weeks stateside, the studio have released another eight official film stills, rock out to all of them below and then head over here for another look at the trailer!

The story of the groundbreaking '70s female rock group the RUNAWAYS is recounted in this River Road Entertainment production focusing on the duo of guitarist/vocalist JOAN JETT (portrayed by Twilight's Kristen Stewart) and lead vocalist/keyboardist Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) as they navigate a rocky...road of touring and record label woes under the malevolent eye of an abusive manager during their teen years. Acclaimed video artist Floria Sigismondi directs from her own script, with Scout Taylor-Compton co-starring as guitarist Lita Ford.

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'The RUNAWAYS': New Clips And Stills Arrive Just In Time For Sundance!
from: hollywoodcrush.mtv.com

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A select few MTV News staffers are about to embark on an adventure in Park City, Utah better known to most as the annual Sundance Film Festival. As we're sure most of you are aware of by now (and if you're not, what kind of rock have you been hiding under?) "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart has two major flicks being showcased over this next week in the mountains: "Welcome to the Rileys" and the movie for which she shopped off her long brunette locks, "The RUNAWAYS."

While we've already brought you plenty of "Rileys" stills, ones from the rocker movie have been about as rare as seeing a vampire in the sunlight -- until now! Feast your eyes on seven -- count 'em seven! -- new snapshots from "RUNAWAYS" by clicking on the two stills below.

The good news doesn't end there: after the jump we have a brand new clip from the movie, too!

But, uh, before we get to that footage, we feel like we should dedicate at least one paragraph to the still above on the left. Is anyone else getting the vibe that the scene in which that takes place is also the scene in which JOAN JETT (Kristen) and Cherie Currie (Dakota) share a kiss? In a recent interview with the LA Times, "RUNAWAYS" writer and director Floria Sigismondi addressed the reported girl-on-girl action saying that because she had read about Cherie and Joan's supposed bed exploits in Cherie's memoir, she wanted to include that in her film. "It will cause an explosion," Floria insisted. Yeah, we're not going to argue that one now are we?

Anyway, back to the clip from the movie -- press play on the video below to witness Cherie's first time meeting Joan and record producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon). "We are choosing you to be a part of rock-n-roll history," Kim says in an attempt to persuade the blonde to join his new all-girl band. My, those words definitely still ring true!




Today's Pop Five: Dad-E-O's fave fake bands
from: usatoday.com

The Pop Five is a series of Pop Candy readers' top five lists. Today's list comes from Dave B. (Dad-E-O) in Michigan:

IMHO, here are the top five fictional (or semi-fictional) movie rock bands:

5. The Lone Rangers in Airheads -- Nice try, but not too good.

4. Mystery in Satisfaction -- Admittedly, the music was not great, but Justine and Julia ... irresistible.

3. School of Rock in School of Rock -- Jack Black leads a great all-kid band.

2. The Barbusters in Light of Day -- They rocked out on a seriously awesome version of Springsteen's title tune. JOAN JETT rules!



1. Spinal Tap in This is Spinal Tap -- They started off fictional, then recorded an album and toured and then ... I'm hurting my brain. But, this is the best music movie ever, and the songs hold up. I just saw the guys Unwigged and Unplugged recently and they are solid musicians and singers.


Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning get wild with 'The RUNAWAYS'
from: latimes.com

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The 'Twilight' cast mates raise the heat in the punk-infused story of JOAN JETT and her all-female '70s band. Good thing they're friends.

Ê Dakota Fanning's porcelain-doll features were swathed in exotic makeup and her blond hair coiffed into a feathery shag; she raised her umpteenth shot of sake and cast a knowing glance at Kristen Stewart. The "Twilight" star held Fanning's gaze briefly and toasted back, looking every inch the tough rocker chick, with her matching black shag hairdo, spiked bracelet and razor-blade charm necklace.

The actresses clinked glasses and giggled.

With downtown Los Angeles' Kyoto Grand Hotel standing in for a bustling Tokyo sushi joint last summer, the teen stars were on the set of the coming-of-age drama "The RUNAWAYS" -- in character, with Fanning as Cherie Currie, the wild-child lead singer of the titular all-girl rock group, and Stewart portraying JOAN JETT, its electric-guitar-wielding, 'tude-copping founder. Between the years 1975 and '79, the RUNAWAYS packed shows from coast to coast, toured the world and racked up hits before self-immolating in a blaze of drugs, jealousies and in-fighting.

"The RUNAWAYS" will premiere next Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, arriving as one of the fest's most outrightly commercial offerings, thanks largely to Stewart's demonstrated "opening" power as a marquee draw. (Put out by independent distributor Apparition, the movie reaches theaters in March.) But "The RUNAWAYS" is also one of the most piquantly feminist films to touch down this year at America's preeminent independent film forum -- albeit a punk- infused genre pic with a pronounced generational viewpoint and no shortage of blood, drug abuse and bodily effluvia.

Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, the acclaimed photographer and video director behind such foreboding, atmospheric clips as Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" and Christina Aguilera's "Fighter," the movie was less intended as a by-the-book musical biopic ˆ la "The Doors" or "La Bamba" than an impressionistic character study illuminating a unique female predicament: What happens when teenage girls get handed too much, too soon via worldwide rock stardom?

Kid rock

No stranger to the rock 'n' roll life in her own right, the Italian-born first-time feature director -- a striking woman with a mane of raven-black hair who was clad in a vampire-chic, all-black ensemble on set last summer -- said she drew on personal experience to connect with the characters. "It's young girls getting swept up into a world they couldn't handle," Sigismondi said. "Feeding on those confusing feelings that develop from moving from girl to woman, I could reach deep into myself to find those things."

[more]
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