Deborah Swain at Living in Rome blogs about the Italian premiere of The Promise:
Amazingly, the rain eased off long enough for Bruce to walk the sodden red carpet, greeting fans, shaking hands and signing autographs, before posing for the press photo call in the cavea. At this point nothing short of pandemonium had broken out in the foyer and I assumed he would be taken around to some secret stage entrance. Instead, to stadium chants of Bruce Bruce Bruce, the star just dove straight into the crowds and came in through the front doors – protected by bouncers who had their work cut out to shield him from what could easily have become a rugby scrum with Bruce at the bottom of the heap!
Once inside, the organisers made the wise choice of running the film right away, after the briefest of introductions byMario Sesti and Thom Zimny – with the promise that there would be a pleasant surprise for us all at the end of the film! The documentary itself is fabulous – made up of never-before-seen studio footage from the recording of Springsteen’s fourth album Darkness on the Edge of Town, inter-cut with contemporary interviews with the singer and the members of the E Street Band, it’s an extraordinarily intimate look at the creative process of an artist at the very height of his creative powers. The film was received with cheers of unanimous approval and moments of spontaneous applause and audience participation throughout – the atmosphere was more akin to that of a rock concert, not a film criticism salon and when eventually Springsteen appeared, Sala Sinopoli erupted into cheers and chants with a stampede towards the stage!
This may somewhat illuminate Bruce’s comment that he loves going to Italy, because “the Italian fans are always so particular…”