Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields

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Released 2010

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Director:
Unknown
Released:
2010
Rating:
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Songwriter Stephin Merritt is known as "the Cole Porter of his generation" for his memorable melodies, lovelorn lyrics and wry musical stylings. Shot over a period of 10 years, "Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields" explores his friendship with his longtime bandmate and manager Claudia Gonson. Through his recording and songwriting process, the film traces a 20-year career that has yielded one of the most engaging bodies of work in the contemporary American songbook.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Clearly, the directors have to be Merritt advocates to hang in there that long, but the film that resulted has elements that keep it from being simply a fan's notes.

  • 70

    The New York Times Mike Hale

    In her director's statement for Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, Gail O'Hara writes that "this one's for the fans." Rarely has that been more true.

  • 67

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The affectionate, bemused, structurally unkempt portrait is at its best capturing Merritt's close collaboration with his longtime friend and bandmate Claudia Gonson.

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Documentary, Music