I received a last minute invitation to see The Runaways last night. I couldn’t really turn that down. How could one resist chicks with guitars? I’m not quite sure what to make of the film. The story was sloppy, and didn’t seem to go anywhere. The timeline of the band was so compressed and it seems events were cherry picked out of nowhere without any sense of a timeline to their story1. It seems more to be a vanity project for Joan Jett (who served as Producer) and Cherie Currie (who wrote the book it was based on).
Then there’s the band itself, if you were to go by the film, you’d think that the members of the band consisted of Jett & Currie. The others were simply incidental characters. We see Sandy West join the band, then they invite Cherie to try out, and at the rehearsals, suddenly they have a lead guitarist and bass player. Huh? How did that happen?
All that aside, director Floria Sigismondi and cinematographer Benoît Debie provide one of the more interesting visual films I’ve seen in a while. They were able to craft scenes where the story didn’t really matter and the visuals were just stunningly intriguing. Visuals I might have to rip off if someone wants to model for me.
One of those scenes, a sex scene between Jett and Currie, focused on close ups of an eye filled with passion, a head rolled back in pleasure, an arm, leg, whatever, cut together so well, and with a very heavy grain on the film, almost looking like they were trying to emulate 8mm film, and that’s the only place that scene lost points. If they had actually used 8mm, it would’ve looked even better!
The other scene, that immediately comes to mind was Jett in the bathtub writing a song. Her head, her legs, her arms occasionally popping out of the water, until the end where she completely submerges her body, and then it cuts to an underwater shot of her floating in a large body of water. Fabulous.
- But you don’t, have any sense, any sense of time. [↩]