Mark Linkous was one of the brightest lights of the alternative music scene before committing suicide in 2010. This film celebrates his life and music.

THIS IS SPARKLEHORSE is a feature length music documentary. A cult and hugely influential figure in the alternative music scene, the critically-acclaimed Linkous had a dramatic life that saw him battle with drug and alcohol addiction, paralysis, and debilitating mental illness that resulted in his eventual suicide.


Mark Linkous, the driving force behind Sparklehorse, was the man who literally died and came back to life. His existence mirrored his mesmerising and unique music. He was at once a humble, modest man; the epitome of a Southern Gentlemen. He was also self-destructive; a recovering addict who battled with debilitating depression. The dual nature of his personality reflects the extremes of his music; beautiful, surreal, off-kilter pop contrasted with dark, distorted ballads and discordant punk-rock.

Linkous finally succumbed to his crippling depression in 2010, prior to releasing his final album, the star-studded ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ featuring Danger Mouse, Iggy Pop, David Lynch, Frank Black (The Pixies), Suzanne Vega, and James Mercer (The Shins). Linkous committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart. A witness saw him sit down in an alley, pull out his rifle, and fire it into his own chest.

Sparklehorse’s music was heralded by his peers and critics; a mix of alt-country, discordant punk and psychedelic pop; it has been described as “defiantly surrealist… with all manner of references to smiling babies, organ music, birds, and celestial bodies.” Collaborators included PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, The Flaming Lips, Danger Mouse, David Lynch & Thom Yorke (Radiohead).

The film features interviews with David Lynch (Twin Peaks), Josh Carter (Phantogram), Matt Linkous (Mark’s brother), Jonathon Donahue and Grasshopper (Mercury Rev), David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven), Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Ed Harcourt, Gemma Hayes, Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid), Emily Haines (Metric), Adrian Utley (Portishead), John Parish (PJ Harvey) Alan Weatherhead (Sparklehorse Sound Engineer) and Matthew Wright.

The film is written & narrated by Mark Linkous’ friend and collaborator, Angela Faye Martin.

THIS IS SPARKLEHORSE provides a retrospective about the brilliant and often dramatic life of Mark Linkous and his unique music style.