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Shirley Collins Documentary Kickstarter
Mat Colegate , July 8th, 2014 09:38

Film-makers raising money for documentary about life of English folk luminary; watch a teaser below

It's often the case that the legendary status of a subject can end up obscuring rather than illuminating them. Because of this, Tim Plester and Rob Curry's upcoming film, The Ballad Of Shirley Collins, on the life and work of the English folk musician - which is currently part way through its Kickstarter campaign - is an especially welcome development in her long story.

Famed for her song-collecting trip across America with archivist Alan Lomax, a journey that led to the formation of a canon of songs that would provide folk musicians with material right up to the present day, Collins' contribution to the well-being of folk music on both sides of the Atlantic cannot be overstated. The 30 year-withdrawal from the public eye which followed has only deepened the mystery encased in her music. Following recent stage appearances with Current 93 and a revival of interest in the two albums she made with her sister, Dolly, Anthems In Eden and Love, Death And The Lady, The Ballad of Shirley Collins should provide some much needed illumination of a most mercurial and fascinating subject - take a look at the promo above.

Plester and Curry, who previously worked together on Way Of The Morris, a documentary exploring the history of morris dancing, are set to cover both the American trip and her role in the UK folk revival in the film, which will be based on her autobiography America Over The Water and, dependent on funding, will feature interviews with Collins, archive footage and possibly a trip back to the States to retrace her route. There's a plethora of rewards for backers, ranging from a credit on the film to represses of her 60s EPs Heroes In Love and The Foggy Dew, private screenings, a tour of Adderbury village with the film-makers, a chance to join Collins for a bonfire and hot pot in Lewes and items from her own archive of memorabilia. Head to the Kickstarter page to pledge, and be sure to do so before the deadline of July 22.