Strange Powers, Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields with director Kerthy Fix

Trailer CLOSE UP Tickets - Orpheum

Orpheum · Saugerties

A SONIC WAVE Weekly and CLOSE UP screening

Monday, July 29 7:00p – post screening Q&A w/ dir. Kerthy Fix

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 song craft and irresistible synthpop.

Strange Powers explores Merritt’s songwriting and recording process, and focuses on his relationships with his bandmates and his 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. (dir. Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara, U.S., 2011, 85 mins.)

Kerthy Fix’s very first film credit was on the indie classic, Slacker and her first television credit was the PBS series Austin City Limits holding cue cards for Willie Nelson.

She spent the 1990’s in Austin, Texas where one could both work at the Texas Senate as a director in the Media Department and also do weirdo performance art with the Performance Art Church (PeACh). She is proud of her work at Austin’s KOOP Community Radio which went on the air while she served on the Board of Directors as well as her radio show, the G-Spot, which featured the music of women, queer and trans people on Saturday afternoons.

After moving to New York, she made STRANGE POWERS: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields with Gail O’Hara, Paul Kloss and Sarah Devorkin. STRANGE POWERS premiered at SXSW as did her next film, WHO TOOK THE BOMP? Le Tigre On Tour, which opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Her work has been shown at New York’s beloved Film Forum and over 30 film festivals worldwide including, SXSW, IDFA, Full Frame, and Hot Docs.

As a documentary producer, she worked on the six-part series, FLYING: Confessions of a Free Woman with director Jennifer Fox which screened at Sundance in 2007. She also co-produced HOTEL GRAMERCY PARK (Tribeca Film Festival, 2008) with acclaimed filmmaker Douglas Keeve (Unzipped) and producer Wendy Ettinger. In 2009, she produced the independent distribution for Pam Boll’s documentary, WHO DOES SHE THINKS SHE IS? (PBS), and in 2014, she produced Pam’s second film, A SMALL GOOD THING.

Making a living in television has brought her through the strange worlds of 90 DAY FIANCE (TLC), ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE (Discovery), AMISH: OUT OF ORDER (NatGeo) and TEEN MOM OG (MTV). By working closely with her cast to tell their stories, TEEN MOM in particular, taught Kerthy how a harm reduction approach towards teen pregnancy, addiction, mental illness and suicide can change outcomes for young audiences.

In all of her projects, Kerthy has loved working with people in a creative way – especially young adults. She is interested in the ways that youth culture shapes our ethics and emotional outcomes, and bends her work towards positive change in everything she does.