A wry and engaging portrait of influential singer-songwriter Stephin Merrit, and his group the Magnetic Fields.
The man described as a contemporary Cole Porter doesn’t write his songs sat at a piano with a cigarette holder, but “sitting in dark gay bars listening to thumping disco music that I don’t particularly like”, and the majority of his obscure but hugely influential body of work was recorded in a chaotic New York apartment piled high with instruments. Filmed over the course of ten years, this is a fascinating glimpse into the world of Stephin Merrit and his merry band, and an excellent primer in matchless LPs like 69 Love Songs.
Strange Powers will be preceded by a short film about legendary Birmingham label Static Caravan, made by singer Hannah Peel on her phone.
Dir: Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara
With: Stephin Merritt, Claudia Gonson, Peter Gabriel, Sara Silverman
Running Time: 85 mins