Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:00 PM
Never Turn Your Back on Sparks
(Dir. Pini Schatz, 2016, Israel, 56 min)
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Sparks have been creating idiosyncratic music of varying genres for almost 50 years now. Comprised of California-born brothers Ronald and Russell Mael, Sparks’ sound has consistently and organically evolved over the course of 23 albums, covering everything from glam rock to disco pop to electronic dance to their current status as experimental pop masters. Despite a rich body of work and decades’ worth of accolades from critics and peers alike, mainstream success has always alluded Sparks, possibly by their own devices, and thus they have properly earned their status as cult icons, complete with an obsessive and dedicated fanbase.
As he turns 50, filmmaker Pini Schatz sets out to explore his life-long obsession with the band Sparks (the brothers Ron and Russell Mael). Pini charts the impact of Sparks on his life while meeting with fellow Sparks’ fans, among them famous musicians, in Tel Aviv, London, Berlin, Rotterdam and New York. Structured as a personal quest by the filmmaker to prove that Sparks are the coolest underrated band in the history of popular music. This docu-comedy explores universal themes such as coping with aging and being an outsider, the importance of art in daily life, and the power of non-conformity.
Recognizable interview subjects include punk legend Jello Biafra, producer Tony Visconti, and songwriter Gemma Ray. A comedic documentary that explores the legacy of one of America’s great unsung musical duos and the impact they have had on the lives of their fans.
PLUS a 30 minute compilation of rare (unavailable online) Sparks footage from CFF director Eric’s personal collection (an obsessive Sparks fan himself). It’s also Eric’s birthday so expect a Sparks-themed cake.
BUY TICKETS ($12)