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Movies & TV

19th Oct 2019

Western Stars director on Bruce Springsteen: “He’s got a really profound connection with Irish culture”

Rory Cashin

western stars

“It is an amazing experience, watching that audience connect with Bruce.”

Recently, JOE attended the London Film Festival, where Bruce Springsteen and his long time collaborator Thom Zimny showed a select few their new documentary, Western Stars, based on the making of Springsteen’s most recent album.

Zimny has worked with The Boss since the turn of the century, and has been directing documentaries on Springsteen’s work since 2005’s The Making Of ‘Born To Run’.

He has directed eight more documentaries based on Springsteen’s work since then, but Western Stars represents Springsteen’s first time behind the camera, joining Zimny as co-director.

Following the screening, JOE was invited to chat to Zimny back stage about Western Stars and his career working with Springsteen, and the conversation eventually turned to the artist’s huge popularity here in Ireland.

We practically pitched Zimny an idea for a documentary, in which he would look at the huge fanbase that Springsteen has in Ireland, and Zimny chatted to us about Springsteen’s history and connection with Ireland.

“I worked on The Seeger Sessions that we filmed in Ireland,” Zimny tells us, “and I’ve been to shows there, and it is an amazing experience to watch how that audience connects with Bruce.

“And also it takes on this energy of letting him go deep into the catalog, and try new things. It’s wild, because we’ve been able to capture it a few times on film, and I’ve been able to capture it as a filmmaker in the audience, and I think he’s got a really profound connection to the Irish culture.

“I just think of The Seeger Sessions, and we made a film there, and Live In Dublin, and it was extraordinary because the energy that came across from that crowd carried the night.

“It was caught [on camera]. It is a place that when everyone comes home from the tour, and describes it as one of the highlights. For the last twenty years, I’ve [been hearing] about the Dublin show.”

We’ll have plenty more on Springsteen, Zimny, and Western Stars here on JOE in the lead up to the release of the documentary.

Western Stars will screen in Irish cinemas for one night only, and for more info on how and where to get tickets to those screenings, click here.

Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures

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