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TheStreet Open House

'Springsteen And I' Documentary Crushes Expectations

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Monday night, in the interest of preserving the all-important work-life balance, I attended the premiere screening of what turns out to be a pretty fantastic documentary about Bruce Springsteen fandom, Springsteen And I. If it comes to your neighborhood, I highly recommend it. If not, hopefully Netflix (NFLX) or a broadcast entity such as HBO will pick it up.

Aside from a couple of relatively cheesy and seemingly forced moments, the filmmakers did an excellent job making sense out of how some of the world's biggest Bruce fans feel about Springsteen and The E Street Band. As a diehard, who has seen a relatively measly 15 or so live shows, it has always been difficult to relay to non-believers what fuels my shared obsession.

Several poignant moments in the doc, however, do an excellent job taking us somewhere constructive and meaningful.

Throughout the film, we heard from a working class Dane, who spoke with a rough-around-the-edges eloquence about the place Springsteen occupies in his life. Even though he used words to describe his connection with Bruce and his music, it's difficult, even as a writer, to put it into words, if that makes any sense. If you're a big Springsteen fan, that statement probably resonates. Even the best attempts at explaining the power and the glory, the mystery and the ministry of rock-n-roll, vis-à-vis E Street, lack. Not to shortchange myself, but it feels like Bruce is the only person who can transform such abstract and powerful psychology into suitable words.

But, maybe not. While I don't want to give away everything that happened in, or that I liked about, Springsteen And I, two examples, among many, hit me hardest and triggered considerable emotion. Translation: I cried.

The night before meeting several of the fans featured in the documentary, Bruce watched film of their contributions. So, when he met these people, he came in knowing what they look like and what they said, including the hilarious Brit, the husband of a diehard fan, who pleaded for Springsteen to make his shows shorter. He also had seen John, the working class Dane I referenced, bare his soul regarding his connection to Springsteen.

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