Russell Mael

Sparks Fly: Ron And Russell Mael Take Manhattan

Edgar Wright’s The Sparks Brothers documentary and Adam Driver/Marion Cotillard rock opera Annette introduced a new generation or two to the music of Ron and Russell Mael last year. So it’s no surprise that once the pandemic calmed down a bit, the duo hit the road. MAGNET photographer Wes Orshoski caught the second of two sold-out nights in NYC, and the Town Hall was big enough for all of them. It was one for the ages.
Picture for Sparks Fly: Ron And Russell Mael Take Manhattan

Revisited: Edgar Wright Talks with Ron and Russell Mael (Sparks) on the Talkhouse Podcast

Over the festive break, Talkhouse Film is revisiting some of its favorite pieces of the past year, including this one. Happy holidays! – N.D. On the latest episode of the Talkhouse Podcast, director Edgar Wright chats with musicians Ron and Russell Mael of the beloved cult band Sparks, who are the subject of Wright’s deeply enjoyable new documentary, The Sparks Brothers. In a wide-ranging conversation, the friends and collaborators veer from gripping discussions about food to in-depth explorations of the Mael brothers’ longstanding love of their other creative passion, cinema, which finally resulted in Leos Carax directing their film Annette – which opens the Cannes Film Festival next month! They also discuss record-store hijinks, the genesis of past projects, compare notes on trailers, and much, much more. A veritable smorgasbord of an episode, it’s a real pleasure to listen to three people who so obviously relish each others company. For more filmmakers talking film and TV, visit Talkhouse at Subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes of the Talkhouse Podcast.
Picture for Revisited: Edgar Wright Talks with Ron and Russell Mael (Sparks) on the Talkhouse Podcast

‘Sparks Brothers’ Ron and Russell Mael on ‘Annette,’ Edgar Wright’s Doc and Their Delayed Hollywood Career

Ron and Russell Mael didn’t intend for 2021 to be the year they conquered Hollywood, but there’s serendipity in what wound up happening. The brothers, known for their longtime work in the band Sparks, found themselves overcoming decades of false starts in the movie business with not one but two highly acclaimed films. First up was Edgar Wright’s documentary “The Sparks Brothers,” detailing their rise from an obscure duo to influencing some of today’s most significant artists – all the while avoiding super stardom. (Their “underdog” reputation is part of the charm of the pair, although it might be hard to...

Beloved Yet Overlooked Musicians Ron And Russell Mael Get Deserved Recognition In Edgar Wright’s ‘The Sparks Brothers’ – Contenders Documentary

Edgar Wright has been directing scripted films, music videos and episodic television for over 25 years, but he had yet to make a documentary feature—until now. In The Sparks Brothers, he explores two of the most talented men in popular music: brothers Ron and Russell Mael, who have been performing together since the late 1960s, first as Halfnelson and later as Sparks. They are considered simultaneously among the most influential groups in history, but one of the most overlooked. “I thought it was interesting that Sparks had an unusual sort of following, in that different pockets of the world were into different...
Nashville Scene

Making Sparks Fly: A Chat With Ron and Russell Mael

There was some kind of grand cosmic alignment in the stars that made 2021 the year that Sparks — after 50 years as a band and 25 albums of deft, mordantly smart music that spanned genres and moods with an ease that most artists, in any medium, struggle with — into media sensations.

Sparks’ Ron and Russell Mael on the Creation of ‘Annette’ and ‘Overcoming All the Expectations of a Movie Musical’

Irony is a word that pops up a lot in discussing the group Sparks — in their content, and in their career. And here’s an irony for you: When brothers Ron and Russell Mael created a project called “The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman” many years back, it was with the intent of it being a movie musical, with roles for 13 actors. That didn’t pan out, so it ended up as an album and nearly impossible-to-stage touring show. In reaction to that experience, they bypassed any thought of their next rock opera, “Annette,” being a movie, and kept it to...

Ron and Russell Mael: “Annette”

A grand rock opera about life, love, and death, the new film "Annette" — starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard — was written and composed by influential art pop duo Sparks, the creators of the Bookworm theme song. Brothers Ron and Russell Mael discuss the small and significant differences between their original material and the final product that became the film. They say that director Leos Carax did an amazing job at rendering their imagination. "Annette" marks a new beginning to the decades-long career of the Sparks brothers, but the past is not lost.