Floria Sigismondi on 'The Runaways'

0

Comments

Add +

Time Out meets the director of the new hard-rockin' biopic of teenage punk princesses, 'The Runaways'

Italian-born Canadian photographer and director Floria Sigismondi is best known for her gothic, jittery music videos for the likes of Marilyn Manson, Interpol, The White Stripes and Christina Aguilera. Now she’s taking on the world’s first all-girl rock band ‘The Runaways’ in her feature debut, a coming-of-age story set in Hollywood’s glam rock era starring Dakota Fanning as David Bowie-idolising lead singer Cherie Currie and ‘Twilight’ star Kristen Stewart as androgynous punk guitarist Joan Jett.

Why did you choose this as your first feature?
‘I have been flirting with films for years but, I don’t know, it just felt like this was the one. Being a fan of the band and that era in music definitely drew me to it, as well as the story between these two young girls at that volatile time when they’re reaching puberty.’

It’s certainly a darker look at coming of age than most teen films.
‘Possibly. I looked at some films for reference and I didn’t find that many that I was drawn to, except maybe for “Christiane F.” [a 1981 film about a 14-year-old heroin addict in Berlin]. But, yeah, the Runaway girls had it hard, for sure.’

What drew you to the era?
‘It was a time where you had to create your own identity because nothing was readily available. All these great little underground scenes were happening: you had glam rock; you had punk rock; you had disco. And if you wanted to join one of those scenes, you had to physically make your own look.’

You appear to have changed your style to suit the story.
‘I was more interested in the characters and the story than dropping in some of the themes from my music promos. I wanted to keep this film very simple, gritty, raw and very naturalistic. I called on the characteristics of ’70s filmmaking, anything from “Straw Dogs” to “Klute”, where the camerawork is quite simple but beautifully composed.’

Did you feel under pressure because Joan Jett was so closely connected to the project and on set every day?
‘I’m sure it was quite surreal for her but, for me, it gave the film more credibility. She would’ve spoken up if anything was wrong but she was very supportive.’

Did you always have Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in mind for the main roles?
‘I always had Kristen in mind. When I met her she had this darkness about her – she was a little tough but vulnerable at the same time. We signed her the day “Twilight” opened. Dakota was too young, she was only  12 or 13 when I was starting to think about the film, but when she came of age she wanted to do it.’

Why did you decide to focus the plot more on Cherie’s experiences?
‘The producers had optioned Cherie’s book, “Neon Angel”, so I got a lot of information from that. She was able to reflect on that time and go into a lot of detail because the band was just 13 months of her life. Whereas Joan hasn’t stopped touring since she was 15 so I had to interview her to get her side of the story. But I decided to make the film about the two of them and how they came together with different dreams but went their separate ways.’

Was it strange to see them relive those memories on set?
‘Sometimes it felt like time stood still, that it was just like the good old days. I wanted to capture that in the film: that even though their worlds now have nothing to do with each other, there’s something still warm about their relationship.’

Read our review of ‘The Runaways

Author: Interview: Kate Hutchinson



Users say

0 comments


Top Stories

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.

Oscar predictions

Oscar predictions

The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards

January film highlights 2013

January film highlights 2013

Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow

October film highlights

October film highlights

Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.

Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'

Martin Freeman interview

Martin Freeman interview

'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.

Sam Mendes interview

Sam Mendes interview

Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.

Ang Lee interview

Ang Lee interview

The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'

Michael Haneke interview

Michael Haneke interview

The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.

Read our interview with Michael Haneke

Thomas Vinterberg interview

Thomas Vinterberg interview

The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.

Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.

Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us

On the set of 'Sightseers'

On the set of 'Sightseers'

Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.

Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set

Tim Burton interview

Tim Burton interview

The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.

Read our interview with Tim burton

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.

Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'

What's your film guilty pleasure?

What's your film guilty pleasure?

Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.

Read 'Film guilty pleasures'

When teen stars turn serious

When teen stars turn serious

Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.

Read 'When teen stars turn serious'

50 years of James Bond

50 years of James Bond

From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.

Read '50 years of James Bond'

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.

Read the interview

Hilarious horror films

Hilarious horror films


Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.

Read 'Hilarious horror films'

Martin McDonagh interview

Martin McDonagh interview

The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.

Read the interview

Autumn horror films

Autumn horror films

We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.

Read about this Autumn's best horror movies

On the set of Skyfall

On the set of Skyfall

Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.

Read 'On the set of Skyfall'

Bond: then and now

Bond: then and now

Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?

Sally Potter interview

Sally Potter interview

The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.

Daniel Craig interview

Daniel Craig interview

'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’