Hot Docs Review: The Sparks Brothers (Edgar Wright, 2021)


The duo of Russell and Ron Mael, better known as Sparks, have certainly made their mark on music history. Always creative, always challenging themselves to go off in new, different, and often unusual directions (or does new, different, and unusual just come naturally to them?), Sparks have delighted fans over the course of their lengthy career. Among those fans is Edgar Wright, and in The Sparks Brothers, Wright has managed to capture the essence of the duo’s quirky style in a thorough (and thoroughly entertaining) portrait.

The film features extensive interviews with the Mael brothers as well as commentary from a wide range of musicians, actors, writers, and comedians on the band’s significance. And I do mean a wide range – where else will you find the likes of Erasure, Jack Antonoff, Mike Myers, Patton Oswalt, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Flea, and “Weird Al” all espousing on the same topic in one film? The director himself even appears on screen for a bit, billing himself as simply “Edgar Wright, Superfan.”

Whether you’re a superfan or a Sparks neophyte, The Sparks Brothers is a delightful look at the career of a truly unique and wholly original band.

The Sparks Brothers is currently streaming as part of the Hot Docs festival.

Posted on by Paul in Hot Docs