One of our most anticipated movies of the year is a musical in which Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard sing together. If that was the pitch in and of itself, Annette would already be at the top of must-watch films coming out of the Cannes Film Festival. But throw Sparks, the pop/rock band recently profiled in Edgar Wright’s first documentary feature The Sparks Brothers, into the mix alongside director Leos Carax, and you’ve got a recipe for something magical. We get a first taste of that magic in Sparks’ “So May We Start” single, which features Driver and Cotillard singing together in an upbeat rock song.
Annette Single: So May We Start
Annette stars Driver as “an outspoken stand-up comedian” married to Cotillard’s Anne, “a world-famous singer. They’re a happy celebrity couple, living life in the glare of the spotlight, but their world is turned upside-down by the birth of their first child, Annette, a mysterious little girl with an exceptional destiny.”
Annette is an odd experiment first conceived as a Sparks studio album, which eventually became a feature film after the musicians discussed the story with director Leos Carax at 2013’s Cannes Film Festival. The film’s entire soundtrack is composed and performed by Sparks, with Carax co-writing, with the cast featuring as additional voices.
“Initially, we conceived Annette as another Sparks album,” Sparks said in a statement. “Yet this time it would be a narrative story that would consist of three main characters, a small enough ensemble that would allow us to also present the ‘opera’ live on tour… The music, story and album were finished and ready to go, which is where the story takes a huge detour. After meeting Leos at Cannes, we felt a real kinship, so we thought we would send him Annette, not expecting anything other than to show him what Sparks was currently up to. And lo and behold, he said he really liked the album and would like to consider it as his next project. We were happily surprised and elated at his reaction. As fans of Leos’ films, to now realize that he would be directing a film of ours was beyond our dreams.”
Added Carax, “I discovered Sparks when I was about 14 – I stole a copy of Propaganda from an underground shop at La Défense because I liked the cover. Not long after that I saw them live at the Olympia in Paris. Propaganda and their next album, Indiscreet, have been part of my life ever since. Their tracks are among the most joyous songs I know (although they’re poignant too, in places). For me, Sparks’ music is like a childhood home, but one free of ghosts. Without them, I don’t think I’d ever have done something I’d dreamt of doing ever since I first started out in cinema: making a ‘film in music.’”
“So May We Start” is available on all the main music streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music. Annette will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 6, 2021 before it heads to theaters and Amazon Prime Video in the United States sometime in late summer 2021.
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