Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché

Poly Doc Films

Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché

Proclaimed by Billboard as ‘one of the least conventional front-persons in rock history’, Poly Styrene hit the headlines as founder of acclaimed punk band, X-Ray Spex. As a mixed-race woman from a working-class background, Poly had to unfairly navigate intense scrutiny throughout her career. Poly’s fascinating story is brought to the big screen by her daughter Celeste, who sets out to explore her mother’s legacy and celebrate the life of a true pioneer of punk.

Halo Provided Finishing Picture Post Production

Director, Paul Sng said… “I highly recommend Halo for creating a safe and friendly working environment and a nimble approach to moving online only when required due to the pandemic. The high standard of work never slipped during remote working and the only thing missing was the excellent tea and toast.

Colourist Katherine Jamieson’s intuitive and collaborative approach was key to bringing Poly Styrene’s vivid story and image to life on screen.

Colourist: Katherine Jamieson

Online Editor: Adam Hall

Post Producer: Rachael Yates

Post Executive: Matt Locke

Colourist, Katherine Jamieson said “…it’s been nearly four years since I first read an article that mentioned crowd funding for a documentary about the punk feminist icon Poly Styrene. I took a punt and reached out to director Paul Sng to offer my help on the grade should he be interested and the rest is history….

Paul and I met up early and talked about the project and the more I heard about it the more I was hooked. The fact that it was being written and co-directed by her daughter Celeste made it all the more personal and gave it such integrity but also their commitment to have a minimum 50/50 gender split representation in the film production was refreshingly inspiring.

As always with these things it took a while before I actually got round to grading it (Jan of this year) but it was so worth the wait.

The final film is more than a punk music documentary, it’s a beautiful story of mother and daughter finding their way through the perils of fame, celebrity, mental health and media exploitation, on top of the complexities of any mother daughter relationship.

I have had two kids myself in the interim since we all first met but we have kept an open dialogue throughout the filming/editing process as this has been a passion project for me from the start and I’m so excited that Paul and Celeste’s unwavering commitment to the project has paid off.

In the grade we use colour tones alongside mood throughout the film as the two are always intertwined. With Celeste’s pieces to camera we created an almost otherworldly limbo in a white room with no edges. I burnt out the highlights and the background and the book Celeste reads becomes one and the same thing as if she is existing in a parallel universe of introspection looking back over her mum’s life.

I’m so proud of how it turned out and I can’t wait for everyone to watch and enjoy it.

Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché

UK Virtual Cinema Release Friday 5th March (UK)

Available to watch via cinemas nationwide as listed on Modern Films https://www.modernfilms.com/polystyrene

World Premiere // Glasgow Film Festival // February 2021

US Premiere  // SXSW Film Festival // March 2021

share this...