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...

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 r... 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, Lars Ul... More »

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 documentary fil... More »

MR DYNAMITE THE RISE OF JAMES BROWN

"A strikingly varied and substantial portrait of an intensely complex artist." – Slant Magazine ... Legendary documentarian Alex Gibney (Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, MIFF 2015; Finding Fela, MI... More »

GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT: THE LEGACY OF SUN RECORDS

When Sam Phillips opened a storefront recording studio in Memphis 50 years ago, he tapped the rich musical vein of the Mississippi delta and instantly sparked a revolution. Sun Records superstars incl... More »

DOWNLOADED

The story of Napster's Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, whose desire to share music wounded an entire industry. ... Fans loved it, Metallica and Dr Dre vowed to destroy it, and after three years plunder... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director