Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming film Western Stars will make its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Directed by Springsteen’s longtime collaborator Thom Zimny, it shows him playing the songs from his new LP of the same name with the backing band who helped record the album. “We knew we weren’t going to tour,” he told E Street Radio earlier this month, “so I was looking for a way to get some of the music live to an audience and so we figured that was the best way to do it.”
The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5th through September 15th, but they have not yet announced which night Western Stars will premiere (a full schedule will be released August 20th). Springsteen’s past movies with Zimny include Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run, The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town and Springsteen on Broadway along with many music videos and concert films over the past two decades.
Springsteen recently said that he was pleasantly surprised by the response to Western Stars. “I thought the record was a little off to the left and I really didn’t know quite know what kind of response it was going to get,” he said. “But just walking around and talking to fans on the street and seeing how the record was received was very exciting. It made us look how for we can further that experience for the fans without going out and playing live right now because I’m still working on some other things.”
Those “other things” seems to include a new album with the E Street Band. He hasn’t cut an album of new songs with the group since 2009’s Working on a Dream, but in May he told Martin Scorsese at a Netflix event that he’d recently written a whole new batch. “I’ve spent about seven years without writing anything for the band,” he said. “I couldn’t write anything for the band… [Then] it just came out of almost nowhere. And it was good, you know. I had about two weeks of those little daily visitations, and it was so nice. It makes you so happy. You go, ‘Fuck, I’m not fucked, all right? There’ll be another tour!”