'Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché' - Last chance to back biopic on '70s female punk icon of X-Ray Spex fame

Leonardo Faierman points us to an article he wrote for BlackGirlNerds about a crowdfunding campaign for a biopic on female punk rock icon Poly Styrene. The Indiegogo ends tomorrow and is very close to its goal at the time of this blog post.

From the Indiegogo:

Bi-racial, female, working class and possessing an unforgettable warrior-cry voice, Poly Styrene was "one of the least conventional front-persons in rock history" (Billboard). For the first time the jigsaw pieces of her fascinating life are brought together by her daughter Celeste Bell, writer Zoë Howe and director Paul Sng, via original interviews and rare unseen archive materials to present a thrilling, poetic and at times impressionistic portrait of a singer, seeker, a maverick and a mother.

“[Poly Styrene] made an enormous contribution to British art and sound – at a desperate time when so many of us needed her.” — Morrissey

"An album that really influenced me and made me wanna be a really confident artist would be Germfree Adolescents by X-Ray Spex. I really love Poly Styrene and I really love what they stood for and how loud, and how bold and how confident they were." — FKA Twigs

“X-Ray Spex came out with a sound and attitude and a whole energy - it was just not relating to anything around it - superb.” — John Lydon

Beyond the songs, beyond the look (incorporating the most famous braces in rock) and beyond that warrior-cry voice, Poly Styrene's fascinating and sometimes frightening story - incorporating struggles with misogyny, racism and mental health issues - has remained largely untold. Until now.

In this feature documentary the jigsaw pieces of Poly’s life will be brought together for the first time, as a thrilling, poetic and at times impressionistic portrait of a singer, seeker and mother. Combining original interviews, new research and previously unseen archive materials - and underscored with Poly’s music from throughout her career - I Am A Cliché celebrates one of punk’s most uncompromising mavericks.

Narrated by her daughter, Celeste Bell, the film will examine the past through the lens of the present by revisiting pivotal moments and iconic spaces in Poly’s history, while at the same time raising awareness of the issues she struggled with - and rose above - throughout her life. I Am A Cliché will also explore Poly’s legendary anti-consumerist stance, and muses upon what she would make of the gentrification of her old stomping grounds and gig venues in London, Hastings and New York.

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