SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! I love Edgar Wright. His films are all hilarious and brilliant. I also love Sparks. Every album of theirs I’ve listened to, which I have to admit is nowhere near all 25 of them, is hilarious and brilliant. When I heard Wright was making a documentary about Sparks called The Sparks Brothers, I was super psyched to watch it.
But I had a few reservations. First of all, Edgar Wright has never directed a documentary up to this point. So, what would that be like? Second of all, Sparks is so enigmatic that what would a movie about them be like? Pure giddiness overtook me as the film started.
“The decades-long story of the band Sparks…“
I have a little gripe about The Sparks Brothers. I mean little because my complaint is ridiculous. I am a fan of the ninety-minute movie. I like films that don’t meander too long typically. Maybe this is a sign that I have undiagnosed ADHD, but that’s another story altogether. This is two-and-a-half hours long. I balked at the runtime from the beginning, thanking God that this wasn’t like the screening of The Irishman I went to during the New York Film Festival. I could pause if I needed to go to the bathroom or feed the cat or what have you. Though, let me tell you that it does not feel like it’s as long as it is. I didn’t get up during the movie like I imagined I would.
The decades-long story of the band Sparks can only be told over such a lengthy period of time. They’re one of the most prolific bands in all of history. They have 25 albums! Twenty-Five! Wright talks about all of them. It turns out that this was something that the band members’ participation in the project was contingent upon, having turned down previous offers from other directors to make documentaries about the group. Most of those wanted to only look at the past, more “classic” phases of Sparks’ discography, and Sparks as a band are all about looking to the future.
"…before anyone might ask, Ron is the one with the mustache."