Dakota Fanning playing Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart playing Joan Jett in The Runaways.
The film industry, from a mainstream media and Oscar Awards perspective, does not always match the preferences of what young women really and truly love, and yet we remain their bread and butter demographic. For example, despite the fact that “New Moon” (and “Twlight”) blew-doors on box office sales, it’s not unusual that it didn’t get an Oscar nod.
Johnny Depp, while ranked as a favorite actor among young women in the USA, wasn’t even on the radar for being nominated as Best Actor for his Captain Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
However one of the best ways to track what films from festivals such as Sundance will probably pop among young women is to check out the “buzz” section their site. One of the buzziest of all last month was “The Runways” with Kristen Stewart playing Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie.
Clearly, there needs to be more grrrl rocker films. Here’s a review The Runaways, and another one of our favorites, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains:
The Runaways—Directed by Floria Sigismondi
Of all the bands to come out of the 1970s Los Angeles music scene, The Runaways are by far the most uniquely fascinating. This is partially due to their music but more so to the fact that they were teenage girls whose wild and reckless lifestyle was the stuff of legend.
Focusing on the duo of guitarist/vocalist Joan Jett and lead vocalist Cherie Currie as they navigate a rocky road of touring and record-label woes, the film chronicles the band’s formation as well as their meteoric rise under the malevolent eye of an abusive manager.
Acclaimed video artist Floria Sigismondi directs from her own script, and her luscious camerawork captures every sweaty detail—from the filthy trailer where the women practice to the mosh pits of Tokyo. What really makes the film cook are the sizzling performances by Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. Not to be missed, The Runaways is an ode to an era and a groundbreaking band.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
Punk rock classic, this film featuring a 16-year-old Diane Lane with a Mohawk and red devil eyes, and an even younger Laura Dern was done in 1982, but never widely released based on poor screening reviews in Denver, CO. Quite unfortunately, tit took until 2009 for the movie to start hitting more art film houses, which is when I finally say this little masterpiece. The film features an all-girl punk rock band called the Fabulous Stains and was the originator of many a grrrl movement. It can be said that Bikini Kills’ shout-out “We’re Bikini Kill and we want revolution grrrl style now” was a rip from Diane Lane’s line in the movie, “I’m perfect, but nobody in this shithole gets me, cause I don’t put out.”
The Fabulous Stains comes with a very interesting past. Not only was it not put out (no pun intended), but the writer, Nancy Dowd, (who went on to win an Academy Award for her screenplay Coming Home), used the pseudonym “Rob Morton” because she was pissed about the final product.
The film was also musically charged for real, featuring ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook, plus Paul Simonon from The Clash, Vince Welnick, and Fee Waybill from The Tubes, among many others. The film was originally called “All Washed Up” after the title soundtrack, written by Barry Ford. In true punk style, Fabulous Stains found its true cult following in underground film festivals, cable TV, and alternative video stores.
The Fabulous Stains, like the Runaways, is one of those must-see movies that will inspire any Wigger to go for their dreams.