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The Runaways (2010)

Floria Sigismondi's biopic of the 1970s all-girl rock group of the title follows Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart), Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and the others from Kim Fowley's tutelage through the gritty realities of life on the road. The making-of segment interviews the real Currie but not the real Jett, while in the audio commentary it's Jett (an executive producer on the film) who offers reality checks alongside Stewart and Fanning. "To me this is kind of strange," Jett says, watching "herself" run along a street, "because I never wore leather pants."

Poliwood (2009)

This "film essay" is billed as a study of the intersection between Hollywood celebrities and politicians, but it is narrower and broader than that. It's narrower, because director Barry Levinson ( Rain Man) set out to follow the actor-packed Creative Coalition, which promoted specific issues (such as the freedom to form unions) at the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential conventions. And it's broader, because Levinson tosses in whatever else he wants to, including his view that "we are living in an age of satire.... It's a collision of disinformation."

 

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