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Out of Control: Floria Sigismondi’s “The Runaways”

Out of Control: Floria Sigismondi's "The Runaways"

Right off the bat, The Runaways asserts itself as a period piece in more ways than one: the year, 1975, is superimposed over the first shot, which draws our attention to a clot of blood that drops like a ripe fruit from in-between a young girl’s slightly parted, mini-skirted thighs. The gams belong to blonde naïf Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), and soon after she drops her cherry bomb onto the cement in front of the Pup ‘n’ Fries, we cut to a shop counter elsewhere in L.A., where the dark and determined Joan Larkin (soon to re-christen herself Joan Jett), played by Kristen Stewart, dumps a heavy bag of change on a counter, points to a leather-clad boy, and barks, “Give me what he’s wearing.” Currie is the hapless victim of a feminine rite of passage, while Jett initiates her own reinvention, and the subsequent bird’s eye view of Jett tearing down the street in her new threads sets the unflagging pace for this coming-of-age story draped on the rise and fall of the titular proto–riot grrrl band. Read Sarah Silver’s review of The Runaways.

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