Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It’s Wednesday already according to the calendar. I haven’t yet weight up what the spectre of austerity has in store and I imagine that it’ll all become clear soon enough. I spent the past few days in Edinburgh and haven’t really had time to jump on here.

I need to rewind a bit to Sunday and “The Runaways”. When the film started with Nick Gilder’s “Roxy Roller”, I garnered some hope that what I’d heard about it wasn’t true but this turned out not to be the case. Sadly, it reminded me of V*lvet G*ldmine and threw in a dash of BH90210. Kristen Stewart as JJ wasn’t awful, the guy who played Fowley was uncannily close if a little hammy. He’d make a good Lux if ever such a possibility presented itself. The guy who plays Rodney was like a hybrid of Smashy and Nicey.

All in all it’s a bit of a mess. There are perhaps reasons for the band to have a fictitious bass player and for Lita Ford’s involvement to be swept under the carpet. In the end, the final result doesn’t properly represent the subject to my mind and it certainly doesn’t address the phenomenon such as it was. I’ve seen worse but I’m not entirely sure who this is directed at. Despite the fact that The Ramones and The Runaways played many shows together, Joey and Co weren’t even mentioned. Artistic licence is one thing, a blatant disregard for the facts is another.

Last night’s “Cigarette Girl” screening was totally sold out and a it’s a testament to the film that nobody left the sweltering theatre. You’ve possibly had a look at the trailer and you might be thinking, yeah – they always throw the best bits into those. Mike McCarthy’s shot at the next level has much to commend it over and above the obvious charisma of its star Cori Dials. The composition of the frames is a refreshing shake up of the recent tired trick of bringing comic book aesthetics to the screen. It looks at least three miles better than all these effects that dampen action back to 2D in order to snare in the geeks.

There’s something quaintly old fashioned about this that cuts a little deeper than the Tarantino gloss and bluster. In terms of result versus money spent, this is a triumph pure and simple. There’s a possibility that it’ll become a graphic novel, overturning the usual route of trying to drag such a thing from the printed page to live action. Ultimately most might end up seeing this on DVD but I urge you to try and see it on a big screen. "Cigarette Girl" is blessed with a skewed vision of good old fashioned noir with a pneumatic heroine that channels her decision to stop puffing into making her demons work for her. A morality tale with much to commend it, I hope this sets up the director with a chance to tell the many other stories that are hammering at his noggin, looking for a way out.

I am perhaps biased but if this didn’t ultimately make the grade then I’d tell you. It pushes all the right buttons and never comes off as contrived. That in itself is a rare commodity in a world where style is often everything. Chalk this one up for substance(s).

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