Saturday, December 20, 2014
EDGEPLAY: A FILM ABOUT THE RUNAWAYS (2004)
Written, Edited & Directed By: Victory Tischler-Blue
Cinematograpy By: Tim Herrman & Steve Payne
Featuring: Jackie Fox, Cherrie Currie, Lita Ford, Sandy West, Kim Fowley, Suzi Quatro, Victory Tischler-Blue
"EDGEPLAY: A film about The Runaways" chronicles the rise and disintegration of the seminal '70's all-teenage-girl rock band The Runaways, whose members included then-unknown future rock stars Lita Ford and Joan Jett. The film explores the effects of verbal, emotional and psychological abuse on girls too young to drink, but old enough for sex, drugs and rock n' roll.
The title refers to an element of sexual game playing where one tries to take a partner to the very edge of their sexual or emotional limits.
By now many biographies, autobiographies and even a motion picture has been made about the rise and fall of the rock n roll group THE RUNAWAYS. --Director Victory Tischler-Blue was actually a replacement member of The Runaways when bass player Jackie Fox left the band.
This documentary is no different the main thing all of these stories have in common is that they tend to constantly contradict one another. Now of course each person is going to remember things in their own way.
Now this documentary is good, especially if you are looking into their history from the beginning. You get to hear most of the story from most involved except for Joan Jett. Who as producer and consultant of the feature film retelling seems to let that be her version of events especially as that film focuses on her, more then he other girls.
I believe one of the reasons it was easier to get the participants to open up is that the documentarian is an ex-member of the group. A late addition but still a member. So there still is that intimacy and comfort of knowing the person know what it's like and isn't trying to exploit them like their managers did the whole time they were together. More like having a conversation about the old days. This documentary about the all girl rock band The Runaways, has no original Runaways music. The only music you hear is by other artists or you hear the band doing cover songs. That's because Joan Jett refused to take part in the production and refused to grant permission for the music to be used.
The documentary is fascinating but had quite a few problems. The low budget of the film makes it look like someone making a film on a home video camera that makes it hard to sit through at times. The interested take place in odd garish looking locations. These can make it seem like the film distracting and losing it's focus and unless since like the runaways it was trying to look that way to look rebellious and like it has an independent spirit. So it looks dirty and knocked around, but have meaning and be about something.
The lack of Joan Jett's insight into things is also sorely missed. Though she is built up by the others and their comments and stories about her. Show her to earn her legendary status and be a hero to a degree. It would be nice tinder what the legend has to say about things.
Even the archival footage goes by so fast you never really get a chance to notice it in depth and admire it for it's documentation. It just looks like dirty and muddy clips.
The film comes across as insightful, but also like an outline for a project instead of a full one. It leaves you wanting more and leaves so many questions unanswered. Maybe it's that I have been fascinated with the group since the late 80's but didn't know the sordidness behind the music and the group. At least not since the groups behind the music special from Vh1 in the 2000's
I think there is a great film to be made from their story. While I really enjoyed the feature film the runaways is still believe there is a great film to be made of their story, but it hasn't been fully made yet, with most resource material only going but so far. You have to piece It together yourself like an investigative report instead of someone hair giving it to you.
This makes an excellent companion piece to the feature film and should have been an added extra. Though now it would play like a double feature.
I would say rent this, but only if you are actually interested in the band.
I have always found a fascination with the group as they were around when I was a kid and barely remember them except for seeing Cherrie Currie in the feature film FOXES and Joan Jett being my first example of a female rock star.