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Movie Review: Springsteen and I

July 25, 2013

On Monday night, I went to a screening of Springsteen and I.

It’s a film about Bruce Springsteen’s fans, talking about what his music means to them, telling their stories and memories in home-shot videos, interspersed with footage of Bruce performing. Fans of all ages, from many different countries.

Some that stood out: the young woman with a masters degree, who drives a truck and feels connected to the stories Bruce tells in his songs… the glee of the woman who plays Bruce when she’s driving her kids around “they have no choice!” she says with a slightly manic laugh… the Danish young man who works in a concert venue where Bruce performed, and talked about being nine years old, peering through the fence to watch his first show… the Elvis impersonator… the hilarious British man who can’t stand Springsteen, but is long-suffering for his wife.

I came to the film with a rudimentary knowledge of Springsteen, at best. My band obsessions have been the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and U2. Listened to Springsteen on the radio and that was that.

After watching this film, I have a keen sense I’ve been missing out, and need to correct this. Good songs. Interesting, poetic lyrics. Interesting singing voice- mumbly but melodic. Clarence Clemons (may he rest in peace) was on my radar to an extent. But I’ve been missing out on Springsteen. And Springsteen’s joy as a performer is wonderful to watch. Also, his kindness to his fans. He seems like a really gracious performer. And sometimes really funny.

In the clip above, Bruce meets a fan who just got dumped, teases him gently “Why’d she dump you? You didn’t spend enough time with her?… you probably didn’t!” and gives him a hug.

I would watch this movie again. It’s in limited release- last Tuesday, when I saw it, and next Tuesday, June 30th.

Highly recommended.

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