Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Stephin Merritt, Magnetic Fields Documentary, "Strange Powers," Opens in Theaters
Strange Powers, the new documentary feature that follows Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields over a decade of music making, receives its North American theatrical release at the Film Forum in New York City tonight. The band will attend both the opening-night and October 29 screenings at 8:10 PM, along with the filmmakers.
In conjunction with the launch of the film's theatrical run, there will be a special Magnetic Fields exhibition at the Other Music record shop in Manhattan, which opens tomorrow night. Titled All Our Friends Are in New York, the exhibition documents the history of the band through photographs by Gail O'Hara, who co-directed the film with Kerthy Fix, and The Magnetic Fields guitarist John Woo, among others. Stephin Merritt will be guest DJ at the opening reception, from 5 to 7 PM.
Following the New York opening of Strange Powers comes the film's theatrical release over the coming month in Toronto and cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Seattle, with more cities announcing opening dates soon. See below for additional confirmed cities and details.
The Washington Post says "Merritt has composed some of his generation's most intellectually incisive, whimsical, witty and acerbic music" and that Strange Powers "paints a portrait of an artist whose music brilliantly holds up a mirror to the fears, joys, and insecurities of his time." Read more at washingtonpost.com.
Merritt and O'Hara, who was music editor at Time Out New York when Merritt worked there as music critic and copy editor, spoke with TONY about their time as colleagues during the early days of the magazine and how it led to the making of the film. You can read the Q&A and peruse Merritt's TONY archive at newyork.timeout.com.
Merritt spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the film and his music. In the interview, Merritt also suggests that Stephen Sondheim still hasn't gotten his due as a songwriter and shares his hopes for k.d. lang to cover his songs. You'll find the Q&A at wsj.com.
The theatrical release of Strange Powers comes fresh from a highly successful festival run, including SXSW, Full Frame, Hot Docs, and Outfest, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature, and, most recently, the London Film Festival earlier this month.
Shot over a period of 10 years, Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields explores Merritt's 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.
For all the latest screening information and to watch the trailer for the film, visit strangepowerfilm.com. For a look through The Magnetic Fields' Nonesuch catalog, visit the Nonesuch Store.
STRANGE POWERS THEATRICAL OPENINGS:
||New York, NY
||TIFF Bell Lightbox
||Laemmle's Sunset 5
||Los Angeles, CA
||Real Art Ways
||Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
||Roxie Film Center
||San Francisco, CA
||Gateway Film Center
||NW Film Forum