Monday, April 24, 2023

Where Are You, Jay Bennett? (2021)

A retort to I am Trying to Break Your Heart, the Sam Jones documentary on the making of the 2002 Wilco record Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Jay Bennett was a member of Wilco from 1994-2001 and played a pivotal role in the development of the band. Creative differences with Jeff Tweedy led to Bennett's exit, one acrimonious argument was captured in the Jones doc. Commentators here accuse Jones of editing his film in a way to belittle Bennett. It's a sad story. Bennett's post-Wilco career stalled as his health deteriorated, he died in 2009 (the film clears up the details about his death).  Tweedy has always acknowledged Jay's contributions to Wilco and the band continues on to this day, now in the pantheon of great American bands. It was a case of a collaboration that had outlived its usefulness, again, a sad thing and it's clear Jay never got over it. Not any villains here, maybe a sour grapes vibe at times, at best, this film gives voice to Bennett and allows his story to be told.