Western Stars

Certificate PG

(2019) 83 mins

Director: Bruce Springsteen, Thom Zimny
Music: Bruce Springsteen
Cinematography: Joe DeSalvo
Production Design: Kris Moran



Springsteen’s first studio album in five years, Western Stars marks a departure for the legendary singer/songwriter while still drawing on his roots.  Touching on themes of love and loss, loneliness and family and the inexorable passage of time, this documentary film evokes the American West – both the mythic and the hardscrabble – weaving archival footage and Springsteen’s personal narration with a song to tell the story of Western Stars.

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Sure enough, magic does ensue. But it’s the cutaways between songs that stitch it all together with an emotional thread that charts its subject’s struggles over the decades. He’s a self-effacing host (‘This is my nineteenth album and I’m still writing about cars’) and a candid one, opening up about heartbreaks in mini-movies full of bleached photos, widescreen Americana (he wasn’t kidding about the cars) and philosophical voiceovers. And the songs? They’re like mini-movies in themselves, full of over-the-hill cowboys and sozzled stuntmen. Close your eyes and you could be watching an old western.”  Time Out

The performance footage is mesmerising, as Springsteen articulates the intimacy of lyrics imbued with themes of a mythic West, despite sharing the stage with a full electric band and a 30-piece orchestra.  Radio Times

Fri 14 Feb Chepstow


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