The new documentary Western Stars marks Bruce Springsteen’s much-heralded feature debut as a co-director. But five years ago, he had a lesser-known trial run behind the camera. Just as on Western Stars, he and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny share the directing credit for a short film (or elaborate extended music video) built upon the underrated High Hopes track “Hunter of Invisible Game.” Springsteen, who played characters onscreen in 1980s videos — including “Glory Days” and “I’m on Fire” — again does some full-fledged acting in “Hunter,” playing a wanderer in a post-apocalyptic landscape that owes something to The Road. Zimny discussed the “Hunter” film, the making of Western Stars, and other aspects of his work with Springsteen in the new episode of our podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now.
“That was the first time that we got it to a space of collaborating together in the edit room and in shooting,” says Zimny. “And he started to compose in the edit room.” As with Western Stars, Springsteen — a longtime fan of Ennio Morricone and other film composers — wrote and played a long stretch of atmospheric instrumental music for “Hunter of Invisible Game.” “That track was great to work with, very cinematic, with the strings… Bruce was there in an active role, discussing the narrative and the visual approach to telling that story.”
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