Kenneth Turan's film pick of the week: 'The Promise'
If you've been kicking yourself for missing this exemplary Bruce Springsteen documentary when it played on HBO, here is a chance to see "The Promise" on the big screen and help a worthy cause in the process.
Screening Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday at three different Laemmle theaters and benefitting the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, "The Promise" shows us the anguish and the creative joy that went into making "Darkness on the Edge of Town," the lean and brooding album that followed Springsteen's breakthrough "Born To Run."
Directed by Thom Zimny, a former editor sometimes described as Springsteen's personal archivist, "The Promise" is nothing if not thorough, detailing everything, including the legal battles between Springsteen and former manager Mike Appel, and how he came to co-write "Because the Night," Patti Smith's biggest hit.
It features 1970s footage of the young Springsteen creating the album with the E Street Band as well as interviews with the Springsteen of today, a man amused and fascinated by the driven perfectionist he was in his youth. For rock fans in general and Springsteen followers in particular, it's impossible to resist.
The movie is playing Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena; Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Monica 4 in Santa Monica and Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Sunset 5 in West Hollywood.
-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic
Photo: Bruce Springsteen in "The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story." Credit: Frank Stefanko