Bruce Springsteen keeps on running with 'Western Stars'

Posted Wednesday, 23 October 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rock 'n roll might be a young person's game, but Bruce Springsteen shows no signs of slowing down as he hits his 70th birthday, and indeed has exhibited an appetite to expand his creative horizons. So he follows the Netflix special capturing his Broadway show with "Western Stars," a deeply personal film performing songs from his latest album, which also marks his debut as a director.Co-director, actually, since Springsteen shares those chores with longtime collaborator Thomas Zimny -- with whom he collaborated on "The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town" and "Springsteen on Broadway" -- in an 80-some-odd minute presentation that weds the music to Springsteen's stage-honed storytelling skills, coupled with gauzy images of him and his wife, Patti Scialfa.It is, clearly, a valentine for hardcore "Bruuuuuce" fans, but one that does an effective job of both showcasing the material and connecting the songs in a thematic way, supporting an album that Springsteen describes near the outset as a meditation on "the struggle between individual freedom and communal life."With its modern-cowboy vibe, some of the ancillary footage looks a bit like an old Marlboro commercial, but the clear desire is to create a cohesive feel that augments the 13 songs -- performed, with a full orchestra, in Springsteen's 100-year-old barn with a minimal number of onlookers.The experience is undeniably intimate, even through the medium of film. As a nostalgic bonus, Springsteen plays a cover of Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy," which underscores the musical influences at work here, adding to a legacy that hardly needed any further embellishment.Springsteen has always enjoyed an inordinately strong, near-spiritual bond with his fans, still writing about longing and struggle as a young man, and progressing through life's stages with both his music and stories.Yet even by those standards the last 12 months have been bountiful, with his music providing the inspiration for the underappreciated indie film "Blinded by the Light" (a modest box-office attraction), his televised Broadway showcase and now this companion to his 19th studio album."Drive fast, fall hard," Springsteen sings on one of the tracks. For a guy who shows no sign of slowing down and keeps challenging himself almost 45 years after "Born to Run," that sounds about half right."Western Stars" will play as a Fantom Event on Oct. 23 and in select theaters beginning Oct. 25. It's being released by Warner Bros., like CNN, a unit of WarnerMedia.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

Tess Taylor is the author of the poetry collections "Work & Days" and "The Forage House." She has two forthcoming books of poetry about California, "Rift Zone" and "Last West." Views expressed in this commentary are solely hers. Read more opinion...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Igor Fruman, the Soviet-born South Florida businessman at the center of a federal campaign finance probe involving the President's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, said he put more than $300,000 in political donations on company credit cards in...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)An inmate who escaped from a Missouri jail in September has been caught in a Delaware bunker he made of foliage around a fallen tree, according to the US Marshals Service.Drake Kately was found near New Castle on Tuesday, marshals said, after he...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Anne Sabol's cul-de-sac in Port St. Lucie, Florida, is fairly quiet. Well, it was, until a dog hopped in its owner's running car, kicked it in reverse, drove in circles for an hour and smashed a neighbor's mailbox before safely exiting the...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)American regulators voted to impose new restrictions on subsidies for American telecom companies Friday. The ruling is designed to constrain Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE.The FCC's decision will prohibit American...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Three years after chants of "build that wall" became a rallying cry for the candidacy of Donald Trump, his administration is engaged in an increasingly aggressive land grab along the Southwest border to make a new wall a reality, a CNN review of...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

Christopher Bail is the director of the Polarization Lab at Duke University. Follow him on Twitter @chris_bail. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. (CNN)As Republicans and Democrats continue to sort themselves...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Bumble Bee Foods filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, blaming its "recent and significant legal challenges." Taiwanese fish supply chain company FCF Co. plans to put in a $925 million bid for the assets. The deal is expected to be...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

London (CNN Business)An Indian cafe chain popular for its chai drinks is under fire for using facial recognition software to bill its customers, with some taking to social media to express their anger at what they say is a loss of privacy. Nikhil Pahwa,...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)On a recent Friday afternoon in West Philadelphia, two police officers arrive at the corner of 52nd and Market Streets. A loud commotion ensues, attracting the attention of passers-by. A crowd gathers, some taking photos and video with their...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)Rock-bottom interest rates have pumped up stock prices, knocked down mortgage rates and supported the creation of countless unicorns in Silicon Valley. Savers, on the other hand, have been crushed by near-zero rates.Some of those...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump suggested Friday that he's open to his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, leaving the administration to pursue a Senate seat in Kansas "if he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat."Trump told "Fox and...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It's rare to find an almost-perfect copy of Marvel Comics' first comic book, aptly named "Marvel Comics 1." But one in near-mint condition just sold for a record $1.26 million.It's the "finest known copy" of the comic book, according to Heritage...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)After "Frozen" hit theaters in 2013, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon.It inspired Olaf merchandise, theme park rides, and a Broadway show. The theme song "Let It Go," was such an earworm that one of the film's directors...

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN)The United Nations has temporarily suspended its work with the Central African Republic branch of Caritas Internationalis after it emerged that the director of the Catholic charity there was a convicted pedophile. The decision by the UN...