FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields

Slim portrait of a mysterious, monosyllabic man
By CARLY CARIOLI  |  April 21, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

 

Stephin Merritt, the inscrutable and reluctant frontman of Magnetic Fields, is short, gay, and owns a chihuahua. Otherwise, details are scarce.

Rightly placed among the greatest songwriters of his generation, he has never given a satisfactory interview. So filmmakers Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara are left, between monosyllabic grunts by their subject, to piece together a portrait from impressionistic glimpses and the testimony of famous fans. Slim stuff for biography, but make no mistake: this is the most penetrating portrait of Merritt to date.

For that, thank Claudia Gonson, Merritt’s long-time collaborator, manager, and enabler, who is the film’s emotional center. When Merritt moves to California to write for Hollywood, leaving her behind in NYC and the band’s future in limbo, you get a sense of how irreplaceable he’s been in her life — and also a taste of just how callous a presence he can be in the lives of his few friends.

  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Entertainment, Music,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CARLY CARIOLI
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   COURTNEY LOVE SLEPT HERE  |  June 20, 2012
    Boston’s most famous rock and roll crash pad is up for sale
  •   THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH MUSIC  |  April 23, 2012
    If you want to buy a song, chances are you'll end up at a one-stop shop like iTunes or Amazon — storefronts with set prices, clear rules, and instantaneous delivery.
  •   WHEN THE COPS SUBPOENA YOUR FACEBOOK INFORMATION, HERE'S WHAT FACEBOOK SENDS THE COPS  |  April 09, 2012
  •   YODA IS IN THE BUILDING  |  March 07, 2012
    First, the numbers: the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference grew 50 percent from 2011 to 2012, and has now grown 1300 percent from its inception, in 2007, as a roomful of MIT math nerds, to last weekend's 2200-strong blowout at the Hynes Convention Center.
  •   NEWTON'S NEW ART CENTER EXPOSES HEAVY METAL FROM WITHIN  |  August 24, 2011
    Named for a Candlemass song, staged in a former church, and curated by a pair of noise-loving MassArt grads, the upcoming group show "We Still See the Black" brings a thunderous charge of wrathful, subtle, beguiling, and teeming contemporary art to Newton's New Art Center beginning September 15.  

 See all articles by: CARLY CARIOLI