Rockin’ the Big Screen

Rockin’ the Big Screen

On the back of an especially successful live transmission of Robbie Williams’ recent Take the Crown Tour performance in Tallinn, Estonia – which sold out two Prague cinemas – Aerofilms has introduced a new series of concert films to be screened in Prague at cinemas Světozor, Oko, and Aero (and other cinemas throughout the country) over the upcoming months.

The series kicks off with one of the music world’s big event films of the year: Baillie Walsh’s Springsteen & I, a Bruce Springsteen documentary compiled largely from footage shot by fans. It was rolled out to other countries earlier this summer in special one-night-only engagements, and has now made its way to Prague. I was lucky enough to catch an advance screening; see below for a review.



Springsteen & I will come to Czech cinemas for a single night on Saturday, September 21. In Prague, you can catch it at Kino Aero (along with Kino Radotín) at 20:30. Plzeň, Olomouc, and Tábor are among the 26 other cities that will screen the film throughout the country on the Saturday; see our event listing for full details.

Upcoming films in the concert series:

The Doors: Live at the Hollywood Bowl ‘68
Oct. 2, 20:30 @ Kino Aero
Recently re-mastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, this is an absolute must-see for any Doors fan, mixing one of their most famous performances with the incredible true story behind it (told in a prologue). I caught a screening at Bio Oko earlier this year and can’t wait to catch it again.

Led Zeppelin: Live in London 2007
Oct. 28, 20:30 @ Bio Oko
This lengthy document of the band’s 2007 performance at London’s O2 Arena features 16 of the their greatest hits, including Whole Lotta LoveRock And Roll, Kashmir, and Stairway To Heaven.

Queen: Hungarian Rhapsody Live in Budapest ’86
Nov. 5, 20:30 @ Kino Světozor
A short documentary prologue precedes this much-loved concert film, which features 23 of the band’s biggest hits over a nonstop 90-minute concert.

Aerosmith: Rock for The Rising Sun
Nov. 13, 20:30 @ Kino Aero
This brand-new documentary charts Aerosmith’s 2011 Back on the Road Tour performance in Japan shortly after the devastating Fukushima meltdown. 

The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane & Some Girls: Live In Texas
Nov. 18, 18:00 & 20:30 @ Bio Oko
The Rolling Stones are no strangers to concert documentaries, and on November 18th Bio Oko presents two new Stones flicks for the first time in Prague. Crossfire Hurricane, from director Brett Morgen, charts the rise of the band over the past 50 years; Some Girls: Live in Texas is a recently-compiled concert film from their 1978 Some Girls tour performance in Fort Worth, Texas.

Springsteen & I:

Rockin' the Big Screen

Springsteen & I

Rating

Directed Baillie Walsh. With Bruce Springsteen, et. al.

Everyone has seen that Dancing in the Dark video where a pre-fame Courtney Cox got up on stage to dance with The Boss. We know what happened to Ms. Cox, but what about the rest of Bruce Springsteen’s obsessed fans? What’s the fascination? What are their lives like?

Director Baillie Walsh (Footsteps of a Fool) took an interesting approach to Springsteen & I: instead of getting a feel for the legion of Springsteen fans out there by turning his cameras on them, he asked them to turn the cameras on themselves, by shooting their own thoughts and ruminations on The Boss and his impact in their lives and submitting them online.

The resulting film is a crowd-sourced compilation of fan-made self-interviews: an absolutely fascinating collection of stories from those obsessed with the musician that should engage most audiences. Fans may find themselves at home with all the Bruce love; non-fans (myself included) will find this an engrossing insight into these people’s lives.

Getting back to the Dancing in the Dark video, Springsteen and I is at its most fascinating when telling the actual stories of the people who got up there on stage. In rough crowd-shot concert footage, we see a young girl up there dancing with The Boss; twenty years later, she tells us what that meant to her.

Similarly, we hear from an Elvis impersonator who recently took the stage to sing All Shook Up with Bruce. His performance was impressive for a guy who aggravated a leg injury on stage and didn’t know how to transition off the song (he led the E Street Band into Blue Swede Shoes before handing it over to Springsteen.)

Bruce, more than any other contemporary musician, seems to hold a bewitching power over his fans, most of whom have been following the singer-songwriter since the 1970s. Like most fanatics, his faithful legion is a foreign presence to most of us, but Springsteen & I presents an invaluable look into their psyche.

Be sure not to leave the cinema after the 80-minute documentary is finished; as an added bonus, 40 minutes of concert footage from Springsteen’s 2012 Hyde Park concert in London follow the film after the credits have rolled.

The concert footage here was a nice surprise: a definite uptick over the rough (mostly) crowd-sourced footage in the documentary, a total of six songs features Springsteen hits including Shackled and Drawn and We Are Alive, and culminates with a duet featuring Bruce and Paul McCartney teaming up on The Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There.  


Jason Pirodsky

Hailing from Syracuse, New York, Jason Pirodsky made his way to Prague via Miami and has stuck around, for better and worse, since 2004. A member of the Online Film Critics Society (www.ofcs.org), some of his favorite movies include O Lucky Man!, El Topo, Berlin Alexanderplatz, and Hellzapoppin'. Follow him on Twitter for some (slightly) more concise reviews.

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