Thurs­day, May 6 POW­ERS: STEPHIN MER­RITT AND THE MAG­NETIC FIELDS

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(Kerthy Fix, Gail O’Hara, U. S.). 84 min­utes. Rat­ing: This is ex­actly the kind of deeply in­ti­mate and re­veal­ing doc­u­men­tary about a mu­si­cian that fans hope for but usu­ally don’t get un­til af­ter an artist dies. In­stead of a pa­rade of talk­ing heads gush­ing over Stephin Mer­ritt’s tal­ents, the film of­fers a warts-and-all look be­hind the scenes and into the com­pli­cated psy­che of the revered song­writer.

Mer­ritt is a no­to­ri­ous cur­mud­geon and has re­duced some mu­sic jour­nal­ists to tears. You don’t get any sense that he’d be fun to hang out with, but he’s a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter and eas­ily one of the smartest peo­ple in indie pop mu­sic.

Even peo­ple who’ve never heard a Mag­netic Fields tune should find this film deeply en­gross­ing.

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