See if you can guess
how many original songs the Boss has composed specifically for cinema.
By Fred Mills
It’s long been a given that popular artists’ songs find
their way into movies (cinema buffs cannot live on symphonic scores alone). And
it’s often thrilling when one of your favorite artists actually composes
material specifically for a film.
In the case of Bruce Springsteen, it might actually surprise
you how frequently he’s granted permission for his music to be used in films –
check this tally at IMDB.com if you’re curious – since he’s also been known to
dig in his heels pretty deep when it comes to anyone co-opting the “message,”
as it were, of his art; hence his steadfast refusal to allow his songs to be
used in commercials, and then only sparingly letting songs be borrowed by
politicians and various causes.
Nor has Springsteen been exactly a tunesmith for hire when
it comes to Hollywood.
You can count on one hand the films he’s composed or earmarked previously
unreleased material specifically for use in scenes, over credits, etc. John
Sayles’ gorgeously moody film Limbo (1999) featured the Springsteen song “Lift Me Up” to breathtaking effect,
while, likewise, Sean Penn’s harrowing 1995 Jack Nicholson vehicle The Crossing Guard included “Missing,”
and the Boss’ friend Jonathan Demme commissioned the songwriter to do “Streets
of Philadelphia” for his ’93 Oscar-winning Philadelphia.
Quality tunes, all, and perhaps it’s partly due to Springsteen’s selectivity in
choosing those types of projects that the material is so strong and so
Now comes word – courtesy The Playlist – that filmmaker
Darren Aronofsky, who recently finished up The
Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, has
convinced Springsteen to do a closing-credits tune titled, simply enough, “The
Wrestler.” The soundtrack itself apparently will be studded with a lot of
has-been hair metal by the likes of Great White, Cinderella, Def Leppard and
Motley Crue, but the Springsteen number was written specifically for the film.
According the The Playlist, quoting Aronofsky’s blog,
“Bruce Springsteen wrote a beautiful original song for the closing [of]
the film. Called ‘The Wrestler’ it is a wonderful acoustic piece. Makes me
choke up every time I hear it. He really captured the spirit of the film and
Mickey’s character in the piece.”
The film premieres this week at the Venice Film Festival and
will also be screened at the Toronto and New York festivals.
Reportedly, it features at the moment a rough or working version of the song
and that Springsteen has pledged to get his final version to Aronofsky in time
for its premiere.