By Leah Shore
I had the pleasure of being Lee’s date for this year’s fest. From Jake Gyllenhal’s sexy appearance to some interesting films and die-hard music aficionados, I’d say this fest is a diamond in the rough of little New York. Now, I’ve been to many film festivals, but this was the first music fest for me, and, boy, they sure nerd out about music. I actually felt like I stuck out not knowing the name of anything, though, I never know the name of anything. I even have the pleasure of messing up simple lyrics.
Anyway. My review. Lee forced me to go see this lovely piece, explaining that the director was well known. I usually am not a fan of docs in general. I’ve seen enough; they’re all formatted the same and use horrible animations. But this particular doc was about the Boss (Bruce Springsteen). I thought, alright, I like some of his music especially that born in the blah blah blah song – a classic!
The film, The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, starts. It’s an ENTIRE film about the making of Springsteen’s supposedly best album. JESUS. It was one long repetitive rant about how awesome Darkness was. Did you know that Darkness was the best album Springsteen has EVER made? Apparently the film opened at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). ARE THEY HIGH?!?! Seriously, I cannot say anything more, because I wanted to leave the whole time and was bored out of my mind. It was a true movie hell experience. It then premiered on HBO.
If they edited it tighter, made the film shorter, WAAAAAY shorter, like less then an hour (I believe it was 3 hours long and it ain’t no Titanic), and put real animation/art in it, this could have been more interesting… at least to a point where we could stand watching it. It basically looked like a made for TV special and I have no idea why the hell they played this film in a theater.
Despite the horrid directing, Springsteen was pretty genuine in the film. He was about the music and not the money, which I respect. He wrote about 70 songs for the album, but most of them were thrown out and never heard again. One lucky trashed song became Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” which she wrote the lyrics to. He was afraid of completing the song and thought Patti would approach the song in a more personal, vulnerable way. And I’m sure glad she did, because that is one of the best songs ever. I said it. EVER.
So, in conclusion, fans of Springsteen’s music, Gimmie Shelter, Don’t Look Back, Madonna: Truth or Dare and many other classic music docs…Hide your kids, hide your wives. Run away and please don’t look back! This film will make you hate everything Springsteen.