Published Jan 21, 2010There's no doubt that Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt is one of indie rock's most mysterious figures. For somebody so prolific, Merritt has always been slightly misanthropic and a notoriously difficult interview subject. But now, the world is about to gain access to the artist's eccentric, secretive world.
The SF360 Film+Club, a part of the San Francisco Film Society, will screen an untitled, ten-year-in-the-making documentary about Merritt, The Playlist reports. Directed by filmmaker Kerthy Fix and Merritt's long-time photographer, Gail O'Hara, the film promises to explore the otherwise private musician's life story, including his important relationships and artistic intentions.
In their press release, the SFFS describes the documentary thusly: "This beautifully photographed film follows the indie rock curmudgeon, details some of his personal relationships (most notably with Claudia Gonson, his childhood friend, bandmate and manager) and provides insight into an artist who has produced one of the most engaging and confounding bodies of work in the American songbook. Included is the backstory of Merritt's first musical forays, his development as a writer - from proofreader and copy editor at Spin to becoming one of Time Out New York's most dynamic scribes - and his response to charges of elitism and racism."
The film will be shown at the SFFS on February 28, but after that, the completed documentary is intended to screen at "a closely watched U.S. film festival in the spring." Tickets to the preview screening are a measly $12 for SFFS members, and only $15 for non-members. The flight to San Francisco, however, is gonna cost you.
Unfortunately, there is no word on if and when the Merritt documentary could receive a wide release, so for now, you'll just have to keep those fingers crossed.
In related news, Merritt is set to release his album, Realism, on January 26, and he's about to embark upon a North American tour that will see him hit Montreal and Toronto.