Since being a music legend and a recent Broadway star isn’t enough for Bruce Springsteen, the Boss is also going to go ahead and add film directing to his resume. Springsteen’s latest album, the melancholy Western Stars, now has a film to go along with it – a film Springsteen co-directed. Western Stars will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, and Warner Bros. pictures just snapped up the rights. Check out the first Western Stars trailer below.
Western Stars Trailer
Western Stars features Springsteen performing all 13 songs from his latest album, intercut with “archival footage and Springsteen’s personal narration.” Directed by Springsteen and Thom Zimny, Western Stars will offer audiences “their only opportunity to see Springsteen perform all 13 songs on the album, backed up by a band and a full orchestra, under the cathedral ceiling of his historic nearly 100-year-old barn.” I have only one question: is Bruce Springsteen’s nearly 100-year-old barn haunted?
“Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Picture Group (via Variety). “With Western Stars, Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead. As one of his many fans for over 40 years, I couldn’t be happier to be a rider on this train with Bruce and Thom.”
The TIFF page for Western Stars offers more details:
Springsteen has only performed the album live once — for a private audience at his farmhouse — and this documentary captures that experience. Standing at centre stage, he’s flanked by an orchestra and his wife, Patti Scialfa. The archetypal character in these songs is a loner seeking redemption in love. In his memoir, Springsteen describes himself in similar terms, with Scialfa as his redeemer. Between songs, he reflects with a poetic rumination that expands on the themes of his Broadway show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” describing the oppositional pulls of American life between the transient and the communal. One tug is to hit the road; the other is to build a family. After 19 studio albums, he says, “I’m still writing about cars.”
Anyone who has watched Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix knows that not only is Springsteen a great storyteller through his songs, he’s a great storyteller in general. He has a gift to hold the listener enthralled, and he’s pretty damn funny, too.
Western Stars will open sometime this fall.
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