I Am Trying to Break your Heart

I Am Trying to Break your Heart

DVD - 2003
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Documentary about the rock group Wilco and their struggle with their record company to release their 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Includes additional songs and other materials.
Publisher: New York : Plexigroup, c2003.
Branch Call Number: 782.42166
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (92 min.) : sound, black & white ; 4 3/4 in.

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wavemachine1978
Oct 07, 2017

Great film about a great band at a critical time in their maturation as one of America's quintessential indie rockers. If you're in a band you'll feel this movie on an even more personal level. The struggles and hardships are all on display, with no guilded edges. Music is on display here and we see the real value of things in our society through this remarkable documentary.

l
lukasevansherman
Sep 02, 2015

"This is not a joke so please stop smiling. What was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt?"
Even if you're not a Wilco fan, this is a riveting film about the making of the album and the eternal clash between art and commerce. Going into their Chicago loft to make their fourth album, Wilco wasn't exactly popular, but they had a loyal fan base and a lot of critical love. "Summer Teeth" showed a more experimental side, while their Woody Guthrie album with Billy Bragg brought them some new fans. The fourth album would be "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," which is widely considered their masterpiece and one of the great albums of the '00s. The initial parts of the documentary show the creation of the album and the tension between Jeff Tweedy and multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett, which is uncomfortable to watch. Bennett was fired from the band and never got to reap the benefits of "YHF." What seems to come through it that both he and Tweedy had strong ideas about how they wanted the album to sound and, well, Tweedy won. The second half of the documentary is the strange tale of how the record company (Reprise) hated the album and refused to release it. Eventually Wilco got the album back and released on a Nonesuch, which was owned by the same multi-national as Reprise. Go figure. Sam Jones didn't begin the film knowing any of these things would happen, so he had remarkably good timing to be around during the most dramatic point in the band's career. While "YHF" is rightfully enshrined as a classic, Jay Bennett's epilogue is far sadder, as he struggled with a solo career and died at 45. It does cast a certain pall over the film, even as you celebrate Wilco's eventual triumph.

strings123 Mar 12, 2011

Filmed in black and white to highlight the emotional reality of creating music in an age of instant downloads and record executives looking for the next big thing.

Very good behind the scenes documentary of the business of music from a band whose focus is its creation.

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