GIRLS INTERRUPTED: THE CONTROVERSIAL NEW RUNAWAYS DOCUMENTARY

Since you can’t use the Runaways music in the film, what are you going to do for a soundtrack?
I have amazing friends who are also blown away by what has happened and have provided songs for “Edgeplay.” Mike Chapman sent a CD full of material; Suzi Quatro has given me material. Kari Krome went into the studio to record music with a member of the Buzzcocks. We have all the music Lita recorded and, we have music from David Holmes.

Now that the Runaways music is out, is the movie’s other content going to change substantially, as well?
I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t affected by Joan’s underhanded actions and her continued backdoor threats. It seriously compromised the “Edgeplay” project and I will never understand why she felt, and still feels, the need to be so vindictive and mean-spirited. And, most importantly, why they waited 4 years to pull this maneuver.

For any artist, the greatest gifts are the freedom of speech and the ability to create. For another artist, especially one who has benefited so much from those freedoms, to set out to deliberately compromise, interfere with and block someone else’s right of freedom of expression by bullying and threatening nuisance lawsuits because that artist can afford to, makes me sick.

So with regard to your question about the film’s story content changing… the answer is yes.

There have been definite storyline changes made as we’ve re-edited the film with the new music. I’m not as motivated as I was in the beginning to continue to go out of my way to protect specific people, subjects, and situations in the band as I was before all of this happened.

Joan and Kenny Laguna did something similar to Lita Ford several years back. They threatened a very well known songwriter and a music video director, both who had worked with Joan, that if they worked with Lita Ford, they would NEVER be allowed to work with Joan Jett again. The songwriter conceded, but the director told them to fuck off and shot a video with Lita.

I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe the reason is that now, without the Runaways music in the film, I can really cut loose and make the film that, as a producer and director, I wanted to. Ultimately, I think I will owe Joan a big thank you for an almost perfect Courtney Love imitation.

I understand Cherie Currie has made some negative comments lately about the film. Do you care to comment?
Cherie Currie is the Norma Desmond of rock and roll. She is one of the few people I know who has built a career based on bitterness and self-loathing and sustained it brilliantly for over 2 decades. I think, at this point, most of us are really tired of being sold out by Cherie and her discontent.

People have been emailing me these online interviews that Cherie has been conducting and when asked about “Edgeplay,” she’s been voicing serious disapproval, which is ironic because, as far as I know, she has not seen one frame of footage. She’s accusing me of forcing Sandy to say things she didn’t want to reveal. She’s announcing to the world that I should never, ever speak on behalf of the band. She’s claiming that I have a serious agenda with regard to being so damaged from my stint in the Runaways and that she and Joan are going to “squash this film”… Jesus Christ, I was in the band longer and played many more gigs than she did. And after 25, 26, 27 years – who gives a fuck anyway.

The thing to remember with “Edgeplay” is that there is absolutely no narration in the film driving the story forward. I specifically did it that way because I wanted the audience to hear the story directly from everyone involved – without any third party interpretation.

Cherie is going to have a hard time trying to argue this point with me because everything she said in the film – she said in the film. There is no fancy sound bite editing – it’s strictly out of the mouths of babes.

On a serious note – it’s a very heavy film. But in a really twisted and tragic way, it could also fall into the genre of a dark comedy, because the characters involved are all so extreme.

When you do a project like this, it’s important to remember that it was 25 years ago and EVERYONE has their own memories of what happened and what it meant to them. Sometimes those memories are skewed by time, by drug/alcohol use and also, by the need for self-preservation.

“Edgeplay” is dedicated to Suzi Quatro, and she shows up in the film, as well. It’s well known that Joan Jett was highly influenced by Suzi, but what’s her importance to you and to the film?
The first time I ever heard Suzi Quatro, I must have been 13 or 14 and she blew my mind. And unlike Joan, I never wanted to be Suzi Quatro – I just really enjoyed her music immensely.

To say that The Runaways were highly influenced by Suzi is an understatement – everything in the beginning was based on the music we listened to and all we listened to growing up pre-Runaways was Suzi Quatro.

While other rock documentaries have certainly covered the dark side of showbiz, “Edgeplay” seems to really forego a lot of the usual bullshit “rockumentary” clichés and goes for the ugly truth–without being exploitative. You really got people to open up. Was the dark feel by design, or did it just kind of happen?
I wanted to go for the truth and I knew the truth was dark – it was very dark. So yes, it was by design – I just never dreamed it would have turned out this twisted.

A few weeks ago, Time magazine came out with its annual Person of the Year issue. On the cover were the three women who blew the whistle on corporate America. These women are risk takers and stood up for what they believed to be right – in spite of the personal and professional risks. I have so much respect for what these women did and the stand they made for what they believed in. It’s time for people to be held accountable for their actions – or lack of action.

What do you think people are going to come away with from this movie?
The truth. Because sometimes what appears to be, isn’t always as it seems.




Posted on January 14, 2003 in Interviews by
Buffer


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