Set to open the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival, Annette marks the first English-language film from visionary director Leos Carax, with music by Sparks’ Ron and Russell Mael and based on their original story. Amazon Studios will release Annette in theaters on Friday, August 6 and on Amazon Prime Video Friday, August 20.
Milan Records today released the first single from Annette (Cannes Edition – Selections from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), an album of music by legendary art-pop duo Sparks from the forthcoming musical love story – listen to “So May We Start” here. With lyrics by Sparks and Annette director Leos Carax, “So May We Start” features vocal performances by Sparks and film’s stars Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg.
With a career spanning over five decades and 25 albums, Sparks is recognized as a groundbreaking pioneer in pop music and contemporary songwriting. Yet another reminder of their everlasting influence and innovation, the story of Annette, originally intended to be a Sparks studio album, was developed with director Leos Carax after a meeting at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. The final soundtrack collection features lyrics co-written by Sparks and Leos Carax, performed by Sparks and the cast of Annette and produced by Sparks.
Of the collaboration, Sparks say, “Initially, we conceived Annette as another Sparks album. 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.”
Annette director Leos Carax adds, “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.’”