More about “The Runaways” at the Fusion Film Festival

Last week, I told you about the surprise screening of “The Runaways” that Joan Jett attended at NYU’s Fusion Film Festival. Here are some more details.

The screening wasn’t publicized to the general public, and was only open to NYU students:

Thursday, February 25th

Special Industry Screening: The Runaways

Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street

6:30 pm


Join us for a special screening of this 2010 Sundance selection starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. The film marks the directorial debut of music video director Floria Sigismondi.

Co-sponsored by The Director’s Series.

Read a student’s review of the film HERE (“Movie Musings with a Film Student”).

Here’s a review by I am trying to avoid reading these reviews, so I don’t know if they’re good or bad. I don’t want to be spoiled. I’ll read them after I see the film. But this paragraph stood out to me:

This special preview screening was a part of Fusion Film Festival: A Celebration of Women Filmmakers. Joan Jett was there for the Q & A session packed mostly with female audience. Now 54, with a petite, athletic body and trade mark short black hair, Jett talked about the surreal nature of seeing her life on film and being a rock idol, she came across as personable, intelligent, and guileless.

Nice comments about Joan, but dude, 54??? Even if she WAS born in 1958 instead of 1960, that would make her 51, turning 52 this September, not 50-freaking-four. Jeez. Does anybody know how to research anything?

And here’s another student review HERE, at “Another Badly Written Amateur Film Blog”.

And here’s a report of Joan’s Q&A:

Here are some of the bits that Joan shared:

She is very proud of the Runaways and believes they did something important.

The Runaways were more successful in Japan and Europe and she believes that they were popular in Japan because of how women were treated there at that time.

When they got off the plane in Scandinavia they were greeted by thousands of blonde girls sucking on pacifiers but she never knew why.

People were really dismissive of the band in America because they were threatening.  She got such hate for trying to make art.

She doesn’t believe much has changed in the last 30 years. “It’s got to be the same in the film business- getting taken seriously.  It’s any area you get into.  I don’t think it’s just in the music business, it’s pervasive.  For some reason people are afraid of powerful women.  I don’t really get it.”

Here’s a short clip of Joan’s Q&A. I wish they had recorded the whole thing:


Joan Jett Q&A at ‘The Runaways’ screening at NYU

NYU’s Fusion Film Festival showed The Runaways this week, and Joan Jett attended and answered questions after the screening. No one knew she was going to be there.

The Runaways is the perfect fit for the Fusion Film Festival, a movie about strong women written and directed by a woman, Floria Sigismondi. It’s a great tale of girl power and rock and roll; set in 1975, it’s pretty much an Almost Famous for girls. Kristen Stewart plays Joan Jett, a shy badass who starts the first big all-girl rock band.

Read the rest HERE. I hope someone publishes a transcript or, better yet, a video!

I only care about the Q&A. The review is lackluster, to use the reviewer’s word, and this quote irritates me:

The acting is lackluster, but as a female filmmaker, it’s nice to see an empowering tale of strong women succeeding in a male dominated profession. That said, I do wish we could see a story of strong females without them having to be bisexual or lesbian. While Joan and Cherie did have a relationship in real life, it would be nice for filmmakers to show that women can be strong and independent without relying on the tired crutch of the badass lesbian character to garner attention for their films.

UM… It happened. It wasn’t something they made up to “get attention for the film”. It sounds like the reviewer thinks the movie would send a stronger message if these details had been left out. Why? I am married to a man, and I fail to see how the depiction of lesbian and bisexual characters in film threatens the perceived strength of straight women. If you need reassurance, go rent What’s Love Got to Do With It.

End of rant.