The World Premiere of The Runaways took place in January at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. I loved the film and selected it as one of my Top 5 Picks.

Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, this rock & roll biopic about Joan Jett's legendary first group is loosely based on bandmate Cherie Currie's book Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story. The Runaways, although derided by the music industry at the time for being "too punk" for radio and not raw enough (read: male) for punk fans, are now seen as pioneers in the genre despite their short-lived career in the mid-late 70s.
Channeling Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart turns in a moving and powerful performance that will leave viewers stunned. Dakota Fanning is so frighteningly brilliant as Currie that she brought Cherie to tears in the Q&A following the Sundance screening. The film masterfully recreates the rock & roll excesses that marked many bands of that era (and still do today) and pulls no punches in its depiction of the downward spiral that is almost inevitable in the crucible of youth, fame, and fortune.

See my review and pictures of Kristen Stewart, Joan Jett, cast & crew of The Runaways at the Q&A after the screening.

The Runaways will have a gala premiere at the SXSW Film Festival on Thursday, March 18 at 8:00 PM. I am happy to announce that confirmed guests walking the red carpet will include Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, and writer/director Floria Sigismondi.

The film opens the following day in select markets. Courtesy of distributor Apparition, we now have the list of cities which will host the limited release starting March 19:

New York
Los Angeles
San Francisco

The film will expand to theaters across North America on April 9. International cities will be announced shortly.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

Comments (6)

  • Kim Reply

    I am so glad to hear they're going to be there, I can hardly stand it. I am SO there.

    I remember The Runaways and how friends I was hanging out with back then (all guys) laughed hysterically when I listened to them. Not to mention the awful things critics back then wrote about them.

    Being the same "Generation Jones" age as the girls in The Runaways, researching this film for a piece I was writing brought back some heavy recollections. We forget some of the things that went on back then.....there literally was no such thing yet as "sexual harassment", and disgusting scumbags like their manager were just waiting around in their butt-ugly leisure suits to pounce on girls our age. Makes me want to throw up just thinking about it, and probably why I managed to forget those cheezy parts of the good old days.

    I wonder if people really realize just how accurate this story really is. Incredible job, girls.

    (And thank you, Larry, for breaking this story....I had just about given up on hoping Jett and Co. would find their way down here to Austin for fest, and then....I found your blog! YAY!)

    March 09, 2010 at 4:38 am
  • Reply

    Hi Kim, thanks so much for the comments, and for the kind words. It is truly appreciated. Your feedback and recollections of your own experiences are fascinating. I hope people turn out for the film and discover what you've already known for a long time.

    March 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm
  • Kim Reply

    Larry -

    My daughter and I made the SXSW premiere for this and had a great time. Did you go? Curious to hear your take on the Kim Fowley question during the Q&A that followed and how the director answered it (or non-answered it!). Disappointed that Jett didn't make it, but wouldn't have missed it for the world. Really good movie and accurately depicted, I think, but probably not for everyone.

    FYI: as luck would have it, I ran into Mr. Fowley a number of times during the conference, and, as much as I would have liked him to be otherwise, he was in fact very nice. Still, curious about what I mentioned above.....

    March 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply

    Hi Kim, I'm so glad you were able to make it! I left on Wednesday. The film-only portion of the festival ends on Tuesday night and I plan my trip long in advance to arrive on Friday and leave on Wednesday. Most films have at least one screening during that time so it's rare that a film would play after the Music Festival has begun. So there was no way I could have rearranged my schedule to be there for the screening.

    What was Fowley asked?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm
  • Kim Reply

    Hi, Larry -

    The question that came during the Q&A wasn't directed TO Fowley (though he WAS there, sitting a bit behind us), but was asked of Sigismondi. It was actually a two-part question (and you'll see why that's significant) and I don't even remember what the first part was, but the second part asked her directly why she chose to portray Fowley in a comic light.

    She jumped right into answering the first part and was about to move on when the kid who had asked the question (I say "kid", he was mid 20's, but young to be so perceptive, I thought) stood back up and asked her again. LOL Poor thing, she handled it very gracefully, though it was clearly uncomfortable for her (I heard later he's a producer on the film, but who knows?). Essentially, she gave one of those roundabout non-answers, as I'm sure anyone would have done in her immediate position, and looked to the moderator to move on. It was a little tense, though, for a few minutes.

    Honestly, that kid asking that question probably made my whole festival, more than that....RENEWED MY FAITH in Generation Y (or Z, or whatever they are now)!! Granted, by that late in the festival and having missed pretty much everything else I wanted to see due to having been working at festival registration (poorly planned on my part), I was approaching general annoyance, but when he practically demanded she answer the question, WOW. I get excited about things like that in younger people, you know? Probably a sort of 70s residual effect.

    My daughter (who is a 19-year-old photography phenomena!) got some really great pics during the Q&A for me to use, just trying to decide what to write up on them before posting them. Would love to share them with you if you like.

    Anyhow, sorry you had to leave and miss the Music's amazing how the entire landscape changes with the focus, and is actually a lot more fun (though a lot more crazy, too). Definitely worth spending at least an extra day there next time.


    March 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply

    Wow, thanks for that. Great stuff. Some observations -- first, I just want to establish that it's very common for the respondent to forget the 2nd part of a 2-part question. It doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to answer it But the guy showed some cojones to ask it again (something I actually JUST did at a Q&A last week).

    Second, you're correct, it's also very common for the questions to come from someone associated with the film, although it's usually obvious and the respondent will generally acknowledge that and not try to fool the audience. But I'm thrilled that it made your festival! It's great to have moments like that.

    My specialty is shooting Q&As; so I'd love to see the ones your daughter got. I book my trip long in advance (flight, hotel, car, credentials) and it's next to impossible to get a room after Tuesday night. It's just not worth it to me unless I know well in advance that there's something I want to see/do. Sounds like you had a nice experience, though. I could probably address the Fowley issue but it would take far too long. Poetic license, creative liberties, etc. to make a better film.

    March 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm

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