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Bad Reputation

This detailed, exuberant documentary celebrates guitarist, record producer and feminist punk icon Joan Jett, from The Runaways and solo stardom to Riot Grrrl and beyond.

Dir Kevin Kerslake
Prod Carianne Brinkman, Peter Afterman
Scr Joel Marcus
USA
2018
95min
UK Distribution Dogwoof Ltd

Although she’s best known for hit single ‘I Love Rock ’n’ Roll’, Joan Jett has provided tireless inspiration for generations of iconoclastic musicians. Skilfully assembled by veteran video director Kevin Kerslake, Bad Reputation chronicles a life committed to noisy art and activism, often in the face of sexism and stupidity. Rising from Los Angeles’ 1970s glam scene as teenage guitarist for The Runaways, before blazing her own trail, Jett championed underground sounds by producing hardcore punks The Germs and Riot Grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill, then later fronted The Gits following their singer’s horrific murder. Insightful interviewees including Kathleen Hanna, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop and Kristen Stewart (who played Jett in biopic The Runaways), interspersed with forthright comments from Jett herself.

Manish Agarwal

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