Skip to main content

STRANGE POWERS: STEPHIN MERRITT AND THE MAGNETIC FIELDS

USA, 2010 (MIFF 2010, Backbeat)

Director: Kerthy Fix, Gail O'Hara

“The more time I spent with the music, the more I got to thinking this is really one of America's great songwriters at work.” - Peter Gabriel

Best known as the frontman to the Magnetic Fields, whose 1999 three-disc opus, 69 Love Songs, is heralded as a masterpiece of irresistible synth-pop, the enigmatic Stephin Merritt has been quietly producing bitter-sweet indie pop gems for the better part of two decades.

Ten years in the making, this documentary from filmmakers Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara spans four tours and three album releases by Merritt, coming as close as possible to profiling the inner-workings of an intensely private songsmith. Features intimate scenes of the Magnetic Fields recording in Merritt's apartment - cluttered with every conceivable instrument - along with an abundance of concert and interview footage.

D Kerthy Fix, Gail O'Hara P Kerthy Fix, Gail O'Hara, Alan Oxman WS Fix Films TD digibeta/2010

See also...

REJOICE & SHOUT

“Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope.” - Mahalia Jackson ... Take a foot-stompin' journey into the heart and soul of gospel music from seasoned music ... More »

LEMMY

“More than any other rock musician, he is the baddest motherfucker in the world.” - Dave Grohl ... Lemmy Kilmister and God get in a fight, who wins? Trick question, Lemmy is God. Alice Cooper ... More »

TROUBADOURS

A documentary love letter to the LA singer-songwriter scene of the early 70s that took the world by storm. ... As the heady days of 60s political folk started to decline, LA found itself home to the ... More »

THIS AIN T NO MOUSE MUSIC

Gutsy and joyous, the sound of roots music is the story of America. And Chris Strachwitz became its biographer. ... So much of the American South's music is destined to be lost: played on porches and ... More »

WILD COMBINATION - A PORTRAIT OF ARTHUR RUSSELL

“Before I even heard Arthur's music, I was intrigued. My friend described a long forgotten gay disco auteur in a farmer's plaid shirt, obsessively listening to mixes of his own music on the Staten ... More »

SWEET LADY WITH THE NASTY VOICE, THE

“You can hear lots of rocking girl singers who owe an unconscious debt to a woman like Wanda [Jackson]. She was standing up on stage with a guitar in her hand while other gals were still asking ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director