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Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You

Published October 23, 2020

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You

Film info

  • Title Letter To You
  • Director Thom Zimny
  • Year 2020
  • Run time 1hr 30m
  • Genres Documentary, Music
  • Tagline I sent it in my letter to you

Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You captures Bruce Springsteen recording his new album Letter To You live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. The feature-length vérité documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into Letter To You from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life.

Live blog

TimeComment
1:37“I am in the middle of a 45 year conversation.”
2:59Bruce does good scarves.
9:26Wonder whether Mr C will want drums or guitar more by the end of this.
11:44So weird that the guy from Lilyhammer is in this band.
13:32“You had a speaker in the guitar. Right here. Horrible sounding.” Well of course!
15:22Being the last of anything must be so very weird.
21:03You have to be so patient at the end of a take to wait for all the noise to stop before commenting.
22:57“Life in 180 seconds or less.”
32:02No disrespect to Mr S but the house of a thousand guitars line doesn’t scan very well. Good tune though.
44:13Like the idea that no one owns the music, it is just found and shared.
56:49Mm, not so much a fan of harmonica. Harmomnica.
1:06:12This slow song has echoes of Philadelphia. Love that song. And that movie.
1:08:11Seems like it’s shots all day at this recording party.
1:09:11Turtles??
1:16:29“It’s all about the songs.”
1:19:59The movie has an encore!
1:26:00He’s playing the guitar with the speaker in it!

Thoughts

Just glorious. My knowledge of Springsteen is limited at the moment but growing all the time, and I like what I hear. This documentary is so good - soft and gentle, introspective and thoughtful. It’s about friendship and loss, about connections and re-connections. It’s about the strength of music, of a group, of the power of getting together exceptionally talented people.

I couldn’t believe the moments where Springsteen would play his idea of a song and the band would gather round, write down their notes, and lo and behold, pop out a fully formed song. Of course there’s hard graft in between, but it’s an incredible way of working that speaks to the talent of everyone involved.

It’s clear that the passing of time is weighing on Springsteen now, and there’s a lot of talk of death and loss, about being left behind. But it’s somehow not maudlin, but hopeful. A really beautiful piece.

Rating: 5 / 5

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