I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco

Director Sam Jones
United States / 93 min. / 2002 / English

Spring 2000: Wilco goes into the studio to record its fourth album. A year later, the band is ditched by its label and loses two of its members. Welcome to a great chronicle of a turbulent chapter in the story of a brilliant band. 


Spring 2000: Wilco go into to the studio to record their fourth album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. A year later, the band is rejected by Reprise (a subsidiary of Warner), and moves to another label (also property of Warner: Wilco got paid twice for the same LP and lost two of its members.) This is the elegant chronicle of a turbulent chapter in the history of the band, but also a universal commentary on the dichotomy of art and business, and the perennial conflict between businessmen and musicians. The images resemble a Jim Jarmusch film: sober, noir, full of contrasts. The director focuses his gaze on the life of the band and the label in the way of the great documentaries, from The Last Waltz to Don’t Look Back. This plural vision permits comprehension of the water-oil incompatibility that often exists between management and creators. Tweedy lets rip in the film like a man not exempt from humour (see the gag about the talking tummy) or tragedy (Jay Benett’s disagreements; the paralysing headaches). I Am Trying to Break your Heart reveals the doing and undoing of a record, and of a band. It’s the perfect making of.


Showing format
Beta SP

in festivals
Beefeater In-Edit 2003

Jeff Tweedy; John Stirratt; Leroy Bach; Glenn Kotche; Jay Bennett;Tony Margherita

Erin Nordstrom

Keith Pokorski

Music Composer

Peter Abraham, Sam Jones, Gary Hustwit

Film company

Film distributor

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