CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: ‘Springsteen & I’ is Cinematic Love Letter to The Boss
CHICAGO – I must admit that my fandom for Bruce Springsteen played a factor in how I responded to a review outreach for “Springsteen & I,” playing in special engagements around the country, including tonight, July 22, 2013 at AMC River East 21 and Regal City North 14 in Chicago (and again on July 30). If it had been called “Nickelback & I,” I probably wouldn’t have responded.
But I have long had an appreciation, borderline adoration, for The Boss, tracing back to loving “Born in the U.S.A.” and the underrated “Tunnel of Love” when I was a kid, to finding “Nebraska” and “Born to Run” in my twenties, to being blown away by the great “Magic” later in life. Bruce Springsteen rules. And this fan-driven documentary definitely gets to the root of why so many have been in love with this artist for so long while also missing the mark a bit simply by its narrow scope and some unusual directorial decisions in terms of editing. The fans are fun but the archival footage, including a large chunk of a live show that will play after the film to boost its meager running time, is the real draw.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Springsteen and I” in our reviews section.|
The conceit of “Springsteen & I” is simple – by the fans for the fans. There are no talking head interviews with the band or the hundreds of musicians influenced by The Boss. This is a film about the people who love Bruce. And it’s made up almost entirely of fan-submitted videos. A truck driver talks about how she feels when she hits the open road and “Nebraska” comes on. A man breaks into tears talking about the honesty of his favorite artist. Many of the fans recount their one-on-one experiences with Bruce, from the guy who ended up in the front row at Madison Square Garden to the guy who dressed like Elvis and ended up on stage. These are the moments that they’ll remember on their death beds and their love for Springsteen is impressive. He’s an artist that produces such passion.
Springsteen and I
Photo credit: Ridley Scott Associates