Bruce Springsteen performs the entirety of his latest release, Western Stars, in this captivating hybrid of concert documentary and memoir.
Dir Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen
Prod Thom Zimny, Jon Landau, George Travis, Barbara Carr
Prod Co Western Stars Films
Bruce Springsteen’s 19th studio album Western Stars was released this year to the rapturous response of fans and critics alike. Drawing on the sweetly melancholic pop sounds of artists such as Glen Campbell and Burt Bacharach, Springsteen’s elegiac ode to the American West blends lush orchestration with pared-back emotional tenderness. Resolved that he would not be taking the record on tour, Springsteen, collaborating with co-director Thom Zimny, opted instead to produce a feature-length film as a means of bringing the live experience to music lovers across the world. In the atmospheric surroundings of a majestic old barn, Springsteen (joined by his wife Patti Scialfa, a small orchestra and handful of accompanying musicians) performs his latest record from start to finish, intercut with a series of beautifully-shot vignettes in which he reflects on the songs and ruminates on the loves, challenges and regrets he has faced in his own life. Always a master lyricist, Springsteen’s character-driven tracks have often played out like perfectly formed short films, taking their listeners on a multitude of narrative journeys. This visually ravishing, profoundly insightful work is the perfect distillation of that rich fusion of musicianship and storytelling, achieving a level of intimacy rarely seen in live performances.