“The Runaways” director gives details on the film’s feminist message

The Runaways will finally debut at Sundance next week, so we’re slowly but surely getting some more details on the film and its writer/director Floria Sigismondi. The Italian-born music video creator (Marilyn Manson‘s “The Beautiful People,” Christina Aguilera‘s “Fighter”) talked with the L.A. Times about the film and what she hopes to accomplish with telling the story of the first popular all-girl band.

“It’s young girls getting swept up into a world they couldn’t handle,” Sigismondi told the paper. “Feeding on those confusing feelings that develop from moving from girl to woman, I could reach deep into myself to find those things.”

Sigismodni said the film focuses mostly on Joan Jett and Cherie Curie, played, of course, by Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning to illustrate, “How different they are, how they were drawn together for this crazy experience. Joan is so focused, she really wanted to have this band. And Cherie wanted the rage of rock ‘n’ roll, the rebellion.”

And what else happens between them? “A make-out scene in a roller rink that takes place about two-thirds of the way through the movie.” The L.A. Times writes:

The scene was inspired by a remark Currie made in the rockumentary Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways, made by former band member Victory Tischler-Blue.

“In Edgeplay,’”Cherie mentions that Joan is really good in bed,” Sigismondi said. “I thought, ‘I have to pry into this a bit. It will cause an explosion in the film. Why not go there?’

We salute you, Floria Sigismondi. But not for the make out alone — the film has an overall feminist theme, following young women from adolsence into adulthood, but with the address pressure of misogyny, drugs and sex in the world of rock and roll.

There’s also the fact that Kristen Stewart is portraying a musical icon who happens to also be gay. The Times writes that she does so very convincingly.

In the film, Stewart convincingly channels something of Jett’s androgynous, take-no-guff demeanor and rock star swagger.

“She has completely embodied the character of Joan,” Sigismondi said. “Her body language, her face, her walk. It’s amazing how she has just become her.”

Production designer Eugenio Caballero was even more blunt. “Kristen is Joan,” he said in between scenes. “You talk with her and you think it’s Joan Jett.”

The Runaways will open in 1400 theaters nationwide in mid-March. Do you think the kissing scene between Joan and Cherie will take away from the message of the film in the mainstream media?

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