When I first saw the preview for The Sparks Brothers, I was instantly intrigued, and eagerly counted down until the release date, 18 June. Then, when I checked the showtimes, I realized it was not playing at the theaters that had advertised it, and I would have to drive 45 minutes to see it. As luck would have it, I got an email at 2PM on Thursday from Focus Features, inviting me to an online screening that started at 7PM that same day.
The band ‘Sparks’, sounded familiar, but I couldn’t exactly remember where I knew them from. I decided to go into the documentary film blind because I wanted to enjoy it. Many of the talking heads in this documentary were some of my favorite musicians, like Beck, Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand, and Nick Rhodes and John Taylor from Duran Duran.
The Sparks Brothers are Ron and Russell Mael, who seem to be notoriously elusive. Honestly, the entire time, I didn’t know if these guys were being serious, or just messing with everyone. The documentary takes you through the brothers’ early life, then their massive, five-decade career. Apparently, all my favorite bands were inspired by the Mael bros, so that’s probably why their music sounded vaguely familiar in the movie trailer.
This is Edgar Wright’s first documentary, and I liked his approach. I watch a lot of documentary films, and sometimes they’re really hit or miss. Wright’s was a hit for me. It ebbed and flowed naturally and kept me engaged for the entire runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes. The variety of talking heads was diverse, the brothers, musicians, actors, longtime fans, former producers and bandmates, as well as Wright himself, were all great contributors. I don’t think the Mael bros would have chosen to do a documentary with any other filmmaker, and that it was a true collaboration. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year, and I am so glad I got the invitation at the last minute.
The Sparks Brothers will be released July 29th 2021
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I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.