Connect with us
i am a cliche

Movie Reviews

‘Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche’ review: More than a punk rock icon

Oh Bondage Up Yours!

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche is an insightful look into the often overlooked punk rock icon. Styrene was the lead singer of 1970s British punk band X-Ray Spex. Directed by Styrene’s daughter Celeste Belle and Paul Sng, the documentary looks at the legacy she left behind and the hardships she faced. It sounds like it is going to be another standard documentary about a musician, but there are glaring differences. The most noticeable is the lack of talking heads. I Am a Cliche has its fair share of interviews, but all are done as voiceovers. Styrene appears in archival footage and through readings done by actress Ruth Negga. 

I Am a Cliche tries to separate the artist from the person and to connect the dots between Poly Stryrene the singer and the woman behind the act, Marianne Joan Elliot. It is a familiar balancing act for this type of film as it is a way to humanize stars and make them more relatable. Thanks to the frankness of Bell, it carries more emotional weight here and ends up feeling more genuine.

Listen to the latest episode of the AIPT Movies Podcast!

The film charts the rise and fall of X-Ray Spex in the public eye along with the similar trajectory in Elliot’s private life. The end result is a story that is about more than a band that had long reaching effects. Whereas other films tend to contemplate the what ifs, I Am a Cliche highlights the positive influence of Styrene while openly discussing the sadness that filled Elliot’s life.

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche manages to pull off a neat trick. It tells the story of a groundbreaking figure whose influence can be seen today. At the same time, it makes sure she always remains down to earth. Even those who are unfamiliar with the music of Styrene will appreciate the story being told.

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche opens in theaters nationwide for one night only February 2nd and comes to on demand February 4th

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Psychic predictions: stunning research results revealed Psychic predictions: stunning research results revealed

Psychic predictions: stunning research results revealed

Pop Culture

sundance film festival sundance film festival

[Sundance ’23] ‘Infinity Pool’ review: Grotesquely beautiful and hedonistic ride

Movie Reviews

X-Men Monday #189 - Benjamin Percy Talks 'X-Force', 'Wolverine', and 'Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance' X-Men Monday #189 - Benjamin Percy Talks 'X-Force', 'Wolverine', and 'Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance'

X-Men Monday #189 – Benjamin Percy Talks ‘X-Force’, ‘Wolverine’, and ‘Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance’

Comic Books

DC Studios outlines ten new projects as 'Chapter 1: God and Monsters' DC Studios outlines ten new projects as 'Chapter 1: God and Monsters'

DC Studios outlines ten new projects as ‘Chapter 1: God and Monsters’

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup