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Friday, March 19, 2010

Movie Review: The Runaways

Hello, world, I'm your wild girl...

Yes, that's Maeby Funke in the center square.

Rock and roll doesn’t give a crap what you think about it and in some ways neither does the new movie “The Runaways.” The film opens with a drop of blood as it lands on the rough pavement and the source of that blood is certain to gross-out some audience members – this is a story about young girls becoming women, after all. Helmed by Dakota “Lolita” Fanning and “Twilight” series’ Kristen Stewart (sans lip-biting), this movie actually rocks. The wanton vocal stylings of teenage girls in rebellion, a plethora of power chords and lots of tight synthetic pants make for a combustible combination.

“The Runaways” is about a girl band, the girl band that pushed its way into a testosterone filled rock scene in the latter half of the 70’s. The Runaways were The Beatles of their time (well, at least in Japan they were). Music video director Floria Sigismondi gives us a hard, gritty, and raw look into the era of Bowie mullets, platform shoes and that wonderful mash-up of punk and glam. Sigismondi’s first feature film feels like it was transported from the 70’s with natural dialogue and a hazy vintage Kodak palette that captures the grime and dust that seemed to cover Los Angeles. These teenage girls know how to handle their instruments and could give a shit about landing a boyfriend. And they’re still wearing last night’s eye makeup. For these statements of carefree rebellion, “The Runaways” is refreshingly subversive. How funny it is that a movie about a chick band in the 70’s manages to capture both the spirit of rock and roll as well as a realistic message of female empowerment? I’ll take teens snorting coke in an airplane bathroom over perversely heteronormative relationship drama any day, especially when a human/vampire/werewolf love triangles are involved.