It’s a big year for Ron and Russell Mael, figureheads of the art pop duo Sparks best known for their quirky approach to songwriting since the late 1960s. Not only are they contributing all the music to Leos Carax’s upcoming (and Cannes-bound) romantic saga “Annette,” along with writing the film and conceiving the idea, they’re also the subjects of a new documentary from Edgar Wright. “The Sparks Brothers,” which was wildly acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, releases from Focus Features on June 18. Watch the trailer below.
Here’s the synopsis from Focus: “How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time? ‘The Sparks Brothers,’ which features commentary from celebrity fans Flea, Beck, Jack Antonoff, Jason Schwartzman, Neil Gaiman, and more, takes audiences on a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers/bandmates Ron and Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of your favorite band’s favorite band.”
Back at Sundance, Wright told IndieWire about how he finished the documentary on the same day as he did his upcoming fashion world thriller “Last Night in Soho,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, and Thomas McKenzie. “I had the most surreal thing. I’m not a good multitasker but I guess now I have finished two films at the same time,” Wright said. “The last day before the Christmas holiday, the 21st of December, I had to sign off on both films on the same day. It was so strange. Friday morning I watched ‘Soho’ in the Dolby Cinema, and then 2pm I go to Technicolor and sign off on ‘Sparks Brothers.’ That’s a lot of movie for one year!”
Production on “Last Night in Soho” went on hiatus for five months in 2020 during the pandemic, at which point Wright turned full time to editing “The Sparks Brothers.”
From IndieWire’s review of “The Sparks Brothers” out of Sundance: “A straightforward but delightful and unusually spirited love letter to the least straightforward (but delightful and unusually spirited) art pop duo in the history of British-sounding American music, Edgar Wright’s [film] is a beat-for-beat celebration of the band’s deathless creative odyssey, an irresistible invitation to join their small but devoted cult of diehard fans, and a beautifully wrapped gift to anyone who’s ever had angst in their pants about Ron and Russell Mael before.”