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‘Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche’ Documentary Taking Shape Via Crowdfunding Effort

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In the world of 1977 punk rock, X-Ray Spex certainly stood out. Not only for their dynamic songs, but especially for the vocals and presence of Poly Styrene, who gave the band a unique edge and style. A new documentary on Styrene is in the works and the filmmakers are looking for the public to help complete the project.

“For the first time, the jigsaw pieces of Poly’s fascinating life are brought together by her daughter Celeste Bell, writer Zoë Howe and director Paul Sng, combining original interviews, new research, music and previously unseen archive material to present a thrilling, poetic and at times impressionistic portrait of a singer, seeker, a maverick and a mother,” states the press release for the film.

“Our crowdfunding campaign for Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché – a feature documentary that will celebrate the life of the X-Ray Spex singer-songwriter and punk icon – is now live,” reads a statement, posted today, on the official Facebook page for the film. More information about the film, and details on the rewards being offered in return for support, can be found on the IndieGoGo crowdfunding page.

Born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, Styrene, a bi-racial, working class female, was far from cliché as a rocker could be back then. Her unique look and vocal style turned heads, especially with such classics as “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!” and “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo.”

“The long hot summer of 1976, July the third, your 19th birthday, on Hastings Pier, you saw the Sex Pistols for the first time,” she recalls in the trailer for the film. “Was it the sea that drew you near, the wide expanse promising something different beyond the horizon? Whatever it was, your life changed that night. Poly Styrene was born.”

Though she would continue to record sporadically over the years, it was the debut X-Ray Spex album, Germfree Adolescents, that her legend was built upon. Styrene passed away in 2011 after a long battle with cancer.

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