The Runaways, the first feature-length film from writer/director Floria Sigismondi, made a splash at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival when it had its world premiere. The buzzed about biopic follows the rise and fall of The Runaways, an all-girl punk rock band fronted by guitarist Joan Jett
(Kristen Stewart) and singer Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning).
Though Jett has always declined to comment publicly on her sexuality, she has never shied away from the topic in her music, frequently using female pronouns in her lyrics. She has previously stated: "But I do it in my music, and I always have. If you don't know who I am from listening to my music, then you're not going to figure it out from me talking to you, either." The song "A.C.D.C." from her Sinner album is about bisexuality.
As an executive producer on The Runaways, Jett had significant input on her depiction in the film. Stewart, best known for her role in the Twilight films, dives into the role, perfectly capturing the spirit of a punk rock teenage girl who dared to challenge conventional gender roles. As The Runaways toiled away doing club shows, Jett developed a strong bond with Currie that ultimately became sexual. The film has gained notoriety as "the film in which Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning kiss," but their bond as depicted in the film is much deeper than that. Though the friendship never develops into a romantic relationship, the affection Jett feels for Currie is touchingly portrayed, even as Currie continues to sleep with the band's road manager.
The Runaways alerted the sonic landscape, creating new possibilities for women in rock music and now a new generation will have the opportunity to learn more about this groundbreaking band. Additionally, the film brings important exposure to LGBT youth that is often missing from major motion pictures.
The Runaways is an exciting film made all the more vibrant by Stewart and Fanning's engaging performances. Be sure to check it out when it's released nationwide by indie film distributor Apparition on March 19, 2010.