Author Topic: Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche  (Read 757 times)

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche
« on: April 05, 2021, 08:16:49 PM »
I rented this last night, and watched it again today. Quite an interesting bleak story, although it seems to hop back and forwards a bit post X-Ray Spex detailing things before and after her daughter was born (who narrates and presents the film). It was quite good though, I didn't really know how bleak her time out of the limelight was for quite a while, and then her joining the Hari Krishna's.

Anyone else seen this?

Re: Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 08:38:44 PM »
I watched it and enjoyed. Knew absolutely nothing about her or X Ray Spex (apart from the song Hey Bondage Up Yours) so was surprised and interested to learn her story in this way.

Re: Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 09:12:19 AM »
Thought it was a really interesting documentary. The low budget and apparent inexperience of the makers came through at times - for example those rather tedious scenes of her daughter leafing through the book about her mum - but the story was strong enough despite that.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 11:55:46 AM »
Yes I found that distracted me a little because it made me wonder how old her daughter was when she died, it sort of implied to me she was very young which didn't exactly fit the timeline of the story. I had a Google and it turns out she was born in 1981, but she looked about half that age!


  • Have we got over our differences yet? (ho/hum)
Re: Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2021, 06:36:12 PM »
Our local independent cinema is showing this with an after-film panel including Celeste Bell, Poly's daughter and co-director of the film.

Poly Styrene + online panel discussion with Birds' Eye View
Featuring unseen archive material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché is a brilliant new documentary about the incredible life of the late punk maverick, who introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion.

The film is available to enjoy at home, via the Watch Online section our website, where 50% of your rental fee will be donated to the Hyde Park Picture House, thanks to the brilliant Modern Films.

And if you love the movie as much as we do, you won't want to miss a special online panel discussion with our friends at Birds' Eye View, this Sunday at 6.30pm. On the panel will be Poly Styrene’s daughter (and co-director of the film) Celeste Bell, alongside academic and musician Vivien Goldman and singer Rhoda Dakar.

Full details about this fantastic free event are available via the Birds' Eye View website.


  • Chris Woakes
Re: Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2021, 02:13:19 PM »
I really enjoyed this but it felt quite slight to me.

I’m not a huge fan of X-Ray Spex and didn’t profess to know that much about Poly before I watched it but I came away feeling like I hadn’t really learnt that much about her as a person that I didn’t know already just by way of being a general fan of music/figures from that late seventies era.

Still it’s worth a watch and nicely made and I’m glad it exists.

There are a few Q&A’s kicking about online that feature Celeste and a few other figures mentioned in the film (and a couple of others that have just been influenced by Poly’s work) that I found more illuminating than the actual film itself. I’d recommend checking them out if you enjoyed the film.