Join us on Friday 5 March at 7pm for our next #CurzonLivingRoom Q&A. Mark Kermode hosts Celeste Bell and Paul Sng to discuss their new documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, which looks back over the life and career of an artist who fought misogyny and racism to become the first woman of colour to successfully front a UK rock band.
POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ is available to watch on Curzon Home Cinema: https://www.curzonhomecinema.com/film/watch-poly-styrene-i-am-a-cliche-film-online
Although it confronts the prejudice she faced, this tale of Marion Elliot’s transformation into Poly Styrene is ultimately a celebration of her tenacity and talent, detailing how she introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements. Beyond the clamour of its account of the music industry, ‘Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche’ also provides an intimate portrait of its subject. The film was written and co-directed by the singer’s daughter Celeste Bell and features excerpts from diary entries, read by Oscar-nominated actor Ruth Negga. There’s also a rich trove of archive footage, which adds further texture and detail to this compelling portrait of a singular artist.