Adam_Reynolds_small I'm Adam Reynolds, a producer, writer, and surfer based in Los Angeles. I use this space to catalog my media consumption, post research and pay tribute to the people and events that inspire my career. I can also be found on Twitter, or for examples of my production work, visit here. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments. Thanks for visiting.

November 4, 2009


Volver Volver.

Beautiful colors, unique perspectives (both in terms of camera angles and storytelling), but I felt the story was lacking. The director,
Pedro Almodóvar, did however paint Penelope Cruz in stunningly beautiful light - accentuating her natural, voluptuous body, and thick Spanish accent. A film worth watching for an appreciation of foreign.

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

Don't hate me for what I'm about to say, but...I didn't like this film. No fault to Wilco, but rather the director, Sam Jones.

Now, I'm no documentary expert, but this "documentary" felt staged and arrogant. I appreciate Wilco's music, not all of it, but most of it. I can sympathize with Jeff Tweedy's character and the struggle of recording an album, but the intentions of the film felt disingenuous and aimless, which unfortunately leaves a bitter taste in my mouth towards Wilco.

However, what bugs me the most is the following:
What I blieve to be the meat of the story isn't stated until 50 minutes into the film. David Frickle, senior editor for Rolling Stone, comments, "We live in a culture in which we expect everything to happen [snaps fingers] like that." He makes a very a simple, yet accurate statement. And when placed in the context of this film, he's making an incredibly large statement. Up to this point in the film, we've seen how much time is invested in producing/recording/creating an album, but that's only one half of the album experience. The other half is the listening experience - and some albums require more time for listening than others. In this case, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.

Frickle is suggesting that a vast majority of our culture is conditioned to respond with an immediate like, or dislike reaction. And just as a fine wine ripens with time, so too can an album. Unfortunately,
not everyone is willing to invest the time for an album to ripen, which is what can hurt album sales - and record label executives understand that. It's part of their job shape a creative vision for public consumption. So, when an artist creates a product that isn't readily accessible, executives begin to worry. The artist's product can be genius, but if it can't be marketed, it won't sell. And if it doesn't sell, then that genius is lost.

For me, this conflict should be the meat of the film. How do cultural expectations define an artist's final product? As an artist, when do you fight for what you believe and when do you surrender? These are questions I want to see explored. They should be at the forefront of the film, not a mere after thought.

How would I have made the film differently?
Similar to writing a college essay, I would have clearly defined my thesis at the top of the film - My audience now understands why they're watching (aside from just being about Wilco). The body of the film would explore my questions in greater detail - connecting Wilco's unique situation with traditional record label practice. The conclusion would summize my findings. Something along the lines of, "This is how the business works, this is what Wilco accomplished, and this is how they were able to defy the business model and achieve what they did."

But, I didn't make the film. Sam Jones did. And I respect him for doing it. However, I believe he fell short of the potential in the story.

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