Film Info

A feature documentary directed by Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara

Produced by Kerthy Fix, Gail O’Hara and Alan Oxman

Executive Produced by Paul Kloss, Kerthy Fix and Pamela Tanner Boll

Edited by Sarah Devorkin

Ten years in the making, Strange Powers is an intimate documentary portrait of songwriter Stephin Merritt and his band the Magnetic Fields.

With his unique gift for memorable melodies, lovelorn lyrics and wry musical stylings that blend classic Tin Pan Alley with modern sounds, Stephin Merritt has distinguished himself as one of contemporary pop’s most beloved and influential artists. Both a prolific recording artist and composer of theater and film scores, he performs most famously as the Magnetic Fields, whose 1999 three-disc opus 69 Love Songs is widely considered a masterpiece of traditional songcraft and irresistible synthpop.

Strange Powers explores Merritt’s songwriting and recording process, and focuses on his relationships with his bandmates and longtime manager Claudia Gonson, revealing an artist who has produced one of the most engaging and confounding bodies of work in the contemporary American songbook.

In the film: Stephin Merritt, Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Daniel Handler, Mike Yesenosky, LD Beghtol, Charles Newman, Alix Merritt, Laura Ballance, Martin Hall, Carrie Brownstein, Peter Gabriel, Drew Daniel, Chris Ewen, Gaylord Fields, Michael Fusco, Neil Gaiman, Dorothy Gonson, Sasha Frere-Jones, Tim Page, Emma Straub, Kenny Mellman, Ann Powers, Kurt Reighley, Sarah Silverman, Cyndi Stivers, and Irving Berlin the chihuahua. Audio appearances by Monica Lynch, Chelsey Johnson and Irwin Chusid.

Running Time: 82 mins

Screening Format: HD, DV, DVD

Dates of Production: 1999-2009


Available on: DVD from the website, iTunes (UK and US), Lovefilm (UK) and cable VOD (US)

19 Responses to “Film Info”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Pretty please, with sugar on top, come to London.

    • Ryan,
      I can’t say where and when yet, but we are confirmed to screen in London! We’re so excited. We’ll keep you posted. Did you add your name to the sign-up list on our website? Please do and you’ll get the latest screening info.

  2. poppyallgood Says:

    st. louis, pleeease.

  3. Kay Says:

    Is the DVD available yet?

  4. cristobal Says:

    what a lovely idea, looking forward to seeing it here in nyc.

  5. The DVD is not available yet but we will be announcing it here when it is.

  6. josh Says:

    pleaseee release the DVD already ! I literally cannot wait !

  7. slanche Says:

    Any footage from Susan Anway days in the film? I knew them back then – pre-NYC.

  8. Liana Says:

    I absolutely cannot wait to see this at the film forum.

  9. Steve Weiss Says:

    Is there a plan for this film to play Minneapolis?
    I know a little venue that hosted the Magnetic Fields and Future Bible Heroes that would love to display the their ability to present film.

  10. Dominic Says:

    Will there be a screening in Brighton, England? Our sizeable creative and gay communities will ensure a successful event! Would be happy to help in any way

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