“I like lots of different music and Shirley’s in the top ten of all artists for me, irrespective of what they’re supposed to be classified as.”
Stewart Lee
Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins is someone who was born to invoke the old songs.

Alongside her sister Dolly, Shirley stood at the epicentre of the folkmusic revival during the 1960s and 1970s. But in 1980 she developed a disorder of the vocal chords known as dysphonia, which robbed her of her unique singing voice and forced her into early retirement.

Deliberately eschewing a straightforward biopic approach, Rob Curry and Tim Plester ‘Way of the Morris’, is a lyrical response to the life-and-times of a totemic musical figure. Granted intimate access to recording sessions for Shirley’s first album (Lodestar) of new recordings in almost four decades, the film also features contributions from the comedian Stewart Lee and David Tibet of Current 93 What emerges is a meditative and carefully textured piece of portraiture. A timely delve into the arterial blood, loam and tears of our haunted island nation.

Counterpointing the film’s contemporary journey with a more literal one taken from the opposite end of Shirley’s life, The Ballad Of Shirley Collins also proves itself to be something of a time-travelling Transatlantic road-movie of sorts – utilising a motherlode of genuine archive audio to recount the tale of her seminal 1959 song-collecting trip around America’s rural Deep South alongside her then-lover (and legendary ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax . A trip on which they uncovered and documented the music that would later inspire the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ film O Brother Where Art Thou

More than 3-and-a-half years in the making, and co-produced with Fifth Column Films and Burning Bridges The Ballad Of Shirley Collins is the first release from Fire Films; the new film arm of the revitalised Fire Records and sister label Earth Recordings.

The film will receive its world premiere at the 2017 BFI London Film Festival .

Here then is a story about one woman’s battle to rise again from long silent ashes. A story about heritage, posterity and the true ancestral melodies of the people. A story which would seem to be suggesting that, during these turbulent and increasingly untethered times, we might just need Shirley Collins now more than ever.

UK 2017, 94 mins / Colour + B/W

For more information email: Fifth Column Films

For Distribution and Booking Information email : Burning Bridges



UPCOMING SCREENINGS

Date/Time Event

23 Dec 2017

Electric Palace
Electric Palace, Bridport
Tickets

5 Jan 2018 - 7 Jan 2018

NORMAFEST
NORMAFEST, West Cliff Whitby
Tickets

9 Jan 2018 - 10 Jan 2018

Duke’s At Komedia
Duke’s At Komedia, Brighton Brighton & Hove
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

FACT Picturehouse
FACT Picturehouse Liverpool, Liverpool
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Little Theatre Cinema
Little Theatre Cinema, Bath
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Science + Media Museum
Science + Media Museum, Bradford
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

The Phoenix
The Phoenix, Exeter
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Crouch End Picturehouse
Crouch End Picturehouse, London
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Norwich Cinema City
Norwich Cinema City, Norwich
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Stratford Upon Avon Picturehouse
Stratford Upon Avon Picturehouse, Stratford Upon Avon
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Exeter Picturehouse
Exeter Picturehouse, Exeter
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Harbour Lights
Harbour Lights, Southampton
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Stratford Picturehouse
Stratford Picturehouse, London
Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Clapham Picturehouse
Clapham Picturehouse, London
Tickets

12 Jan 2018

The Glad Cafe
The Glad Cafe, Glasgow Scotland
Tickets

16 Jan 2018

Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich Norwich
Tickets

19 Jan 2018

The Plough Arts Centre
The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington Torrington
Tickets

20 Jan 2018

The British Library
The British Library, London
Tickets

8 Feb 2018

Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre
Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries
Tickets



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“Music Documentary Of The Year”Louder Than War
 

STILLS

POSTERS

 
“A fine documentary about one of the great voices of British folk music”8/10 Uncut

MORE SHIRLEY COLLINS PRESS


  • The Wire Review
  • The Ballad Of Shirley Collins Film 8/10 Review in Uncut
  • THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS SCREENS AT LONDON’S BFI FILM FESTIVAL
  • Shirley Inspired review in La Vanguardia (ES)
  • 'Shirley Inspired' // 8/10 Review // Uncut
  • 'Shirley Inspired' // Review // The Wire
  • 'Shirley Inspired' // Feature // The Observer
  • 'Shirley Inspired' // 4* Review // The Independent On Sunday
  • 'Shirley Inspired' // 4* Review // The Guardian
  • Shirley Inspired - highlighted review in Blow Up (IT)
  • A Blacksmith Courted Me...

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