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MOVIE REVIEW (Music)
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Wilco

Artist Home Page
Wilco Film Site

Released: 7/26/2002


I Am Trying To Break Your Heart is a film which chronicles the recording of Wilco's fourth album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in their own studio, and the subsequent trials and tribulations with both the corporate music world and internal band dynamics. Shot on 16mm black and white film, the film takes us through the writing and recording process, live performance, legal wranglings with record company executives and the band's clashing personalities. Despite the breadth of material covered, the film advances at a leisurely pace, live material interspersed with one-on-one interviews with band members, lawyers, record company big wigs and a Rolling Stone staffer. Occasional pretentiousness, such shots of the band walking along the Chicago waterfront for no apparent reason, is assuaged by the band mocking themselves in the same shots or criticising other band members behind their backs.

Although hardly ground-breaking, the film presents a compelling portrait of a band struggling to balance artistic experimentation with the capitalist drives of the corporate power-wielders, and ultimately triumphing over the mother company in a very ironic way, although not without suffering some casualties along the way. Well at least one casualty. Director Sam Jones managed some very fortuitous timing and captured some pretty pivotal moments in the band's history, exposed in their occasional ugliness or insanity for the world to see.

All in all an interesting portrait of one of the more interesting bands in the American "roots rock" scene. Check it out in the theatre if you can but it will also be released on DVD and VHS in the near future.

Steve Donnelly Email WWW

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