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    Edgar Wright's Documentary "The Sparks Brothers" Both Blew My Mind And Seriously Impressed Me

    Apparently, I've been living under a rock.

    So, if you're in the music biz, chances are you've probably heard of the band called Sparks. But, if you're like me, and a bit of a pleb when it comes to ~cool~ music, then you'll have no idea who I'm talking about. And that's where filmmaker — and self-proclaimed Sparks fanboy — Edgar Wright comes in.

    You'll likely know Wright best for his action/comedy/all-around-fun movies like Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End). But now he can add "documentary filmmaker" to his growing list of achievements, thanks to The Sparks Brothers.

    Edgar Wright holding a camcorder to film the Sparks Brothers in a Japanese airport
    Richie Starzec / Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Here's a behind-the-scenes pic of Wright filming the brothers in a Japanese airport.

    The Sparks Brothers takes an in-depth look at the somewhat elusive, and certainly entertaining, brothers Ron and Russell Mael, their band called Sparks, and an impressive 50+ year career that has spawned 25 albums (!!!) and a serious cult following.

    Russell wearing a silk robe and Ron wearing a trench coat, holding a fake lobster, both holding parasols, at the beach
    Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

    From left: Russell and Ron.

    One of the really amazing things about this documentary is that even though you probably haven't heard of Sparks, so many iconic musicians cite this groundbreaking group as both an influence and inspiration on their own careers — we're talking musicians like Beck, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), John Taylor and Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go's), Björk, Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Jack Antonoff, and even Paul freakin' McCartney, to name just a few.

    Musicians Flea, Beck, and Jane Wiedlin looking at the camera for the documentary
    Focus Features / Via youtube.com

    Beyond the musicians, there are also many actors who appear in the doc and consider themselves huge fans, like Mike Myers, Fred Armisen, Lance Robertson, Patton Oswalt, and even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.

    Like, Sparks were such a big deal at one point — mainly in the UK and Europe — that Paul McCartney actually dressed up as and impersonated Ron Mael in the music video for his song "Coming Up."

    Ron Mael sporting his iconic Charlie Chaplin mustache, slicked-back hair, white button up shirt and tie, and Paul McCartney dressed exactly the same
    Gijsbert Hanekroot / Redferns / Getty, Paul McCartney / Columbia / Via youtube.com

    Some of the other iconic musicians McCartney impersonated in his video included John Bonham (drummer for Led Zeppelin) and Buddy Holly.

    And early on in their career, Queen literally had SECOND BILLING to them at a performance in the UK.

    Focus Features / Via youtube.com

    I mean...COME. ON.

    The interviewees go on to explain that Sparks probably never made it really "big" in the US because they were ~weird~ and used a lot of comedy in both their songs and stage performances.

    Focus Features / Via youtube.com

    Also, it's interesting to note that Sparks is an AMERICAN band (Ron and Russell were born in Los Angeles, and live there today), as "British" as they seem.

    Basically, Sparks are the unsung heroes of the music industry, and we all owe it to ourselves to learn more about them — as best as we can, anyway.

    Russel and Ron dressed as a couple getting married in the 1980s, posing for an album cover
    Eric Blum / Getty

    So, yeah. 10/10, highly recommend watching this doc if you care anything at all about music!

    Color yourself intrigued? Check out the official trailer here:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    The Sparks Brothers will be released in theaters on June 18.

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