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A new documentary takes a look at Sparks, one of music’s enduring cult favorites

The film was directed by Edgar Wright

Brothers Ron and Russel Mael, whom have been creating music for over 50 years now as the Sparks, are the theme of the new documentary by Edgar Wright that just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Titled The Sparks Brothers, the film explores how a band can be “successful, underrated, hugely influential and overlooked all at the same time,” notes the director, who has been a fan of the band since the late ’70s.

Although the band is not a big name among the general music audience back home in the US, they certainly have a big cult following and have made quite a stir in Europe back in 1974 with what many consider a classic album, Kimono My House.

Also, they do have a large cult following among the various artistic figures, from Beck and Weird Al to Mike Myers, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Flea, Patton Oswalt, Neil Gaiman, and Fred Armisen.

There were always ideas floating about for a movie on the brothers, but until Wright (known for his films like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead) approached them about it back in 2017, they had always refused.

“I’m very passionate about the subject matter and also can kind of make fun of the music documentary at the same time,” Wright said. “(It’s) the sort of thing that Ron and Russell do brilliantly is like write these kinds of very profound songs that are also kind of like sometimes seeming to sort of make fun of the art form at the same time.”

CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.

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