I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

on July 26, 2002 by Michael Tunison
Print
   While it won't come as a surprise to fans of Wilco that a documentary on the experimental-minded rock group took some unexpected turns during filming, first-time director Sam Jones couldn't possibly have anticipated such dramatic twists as a key member leaving the band or Wilco's label dropping the act as too much of a commercial risk for the company's taste. Fortunately, Jones kept his camera rolling throughout, and the result is an engrossing portrait of uncompromising artists trying to create something original against the backdrop of a corporate music industry that only seems to care about the bottom line.

   Jones originally set out to document the recording of Wilco's latest album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"; unfortunately for the film's subjects, things get much more complicated when tensions between Wilco mastermind Jeff Tweedy (a leading light in the '90s so-called "alt-country" movement) and multi-instrumentalist collaborator Jay Bennett become unbearable, leading to Bennett's ejection from the group after the disc is finished. The drama continues as Reprise Records, spooked by Wilco's most adventurous work yet on the album, tries to force changes that eventually lead the band and label to angrily part ways.

   At the center of this bumpy artistic journey is the brilliant, idiosyncratic and strangely remote figure of Tweedy, a Dylan-like cipher whose discomfort in everyday social situations is fascinatingly at odds with his ability to jump onstage and sing "Outtasite (Outta Mind)" like it's the last thing he'll ever do. The veteran still photographer Jones' black and white, 16mm-shot portrait of this most un-rock-star-like of rock stars can be almost painfully intimate, as when the camera follows the nerve-wracked singer-songwriter into the john for a vomit, but this unique access into Tweedy's private universe is sure to delight Wilco's loyal followers and anybody else who still cares about what's left of rock 'n' roll.    Starring Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Leroy Bach, Glenn Kotche and Jay Bennett. Directed by Sam Jones. Produced by Peter Abraham and Sam Jones. A Cowboy release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 92 min.

Tags: Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Leroy Bach, Glenn Kotche and Jay Bennett. Directed by Sam Jones. Produced by Peter Abraham and Sam Jones. A Cowboy release. Documentary, tensions, idiosyncratic, social, sing
Print

read all Reviews »


0 Comments

No comments were posted.

What do you think?