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Do It Again

The goal becomes less important than the obsession in "Do It Again."

With:
With: Geoff Edgers, Warren Zanes, Pete Quaife, Clive Davis, Mick Avory, Robyn Hitchcock, Paul Weller, Shel Talmey, Zooey Deschanel, Sting, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Bill Rieflin, Bob Henrit, Dave Davies.

The goal becomes less important than the obsession in “Do It Again,” director Robert Patton-Spruill’s good-natured docu about one man’s quest to bring the Kinks back together. Ultimate fan Geoff Edgers turns his midlife crisis into a personal crusade, doggedly pursuing his dream of reuniting “the greatest band ever,” despite the key players’ unwillingness to speak to each other. This mania becomes the film’s focus, resulting in a crowdpleaser that will connect even with auds unfamiliar with the Kinks’ legacy. Festgoers will be cheered, while ancillary play should rack up more supporters.

Boston Globe reporter Edgers is the kind of guy who talks about his high school years as if nothing will ever be as good again; this juvenile element about him can be wearying, and may turn off some viewers. However, most will go along with his quest, largely because he’s so passionately tenacious, against all odds. Main stumbling block is that band founders (and brothers) Ray and Dave Davies loathe each other, while some other former members are less than amicable.

Docu foregrounds Edgers’ persistent, all-American personality, having him address the camera while doing household chores and allowing auds to eavesdrop on uncomfortable conversations between Edgers and his wife about the family’s rocky finances. Before even getting to the Davies brothers, he attempts contact with anyone in their circle, receiving mostly curt rejections but occasionally winning over musicians and agents long enough to get some good quotes.

Edgers’ habit of requesting jam sessions during interviews can make him seem painfully like a teen who knows no boundaries, though there’s a very nice moment with Sting (always a gentleman).

In the end, of course, there’s still no Kinks reunion, and the nearest Edgers gets to Ray Davies is at an annual Kinks fan convention in London. But he does interview Dave Davies in a surprisingly clear-headed discussion. Warren Zanes, formerly of the del Fuegos, provides a skeptical but ultimately supportive voice of reason, understanding Edgers’ need to pursue his obsession but warning against a total plunge into madness.

Helmer Patton-Spruill is no stranger to music docus (“Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome”), but he recognizes this is more about Edgers than the Kinks, so hardcore fans wanting rare concert footage and the like may be disappointed. The final song, a homemade performance of Al Yankovic’s adaptation of “Lola,” is alone worth the price of admission.

Editing maintains the energy and mood, even as Edgers comes to grips with the futility of his cause.

Do It Again

Production: A Filmshack presentation of a Loneliest Monk Prods. production. (International sales: Loneliest Monk, Arlington, Mass.) Produced by Geoff Edgers. Executive producers, Josh Struzziery, Jeffrey Currie. Co-producer, Patricia Moreno. Directed by Robert Patton-Spruill. Written by Geoff Edgers.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Patton-Spruill, Brad Allen Wilde, Beecher Cotton; editor, Wilde; music, Ray Davies, David Davies, Mike Gent, Yo La Tengo, She & Him; sound, Lowell Meyer, Alexandra LoCastro, Jon Howarth, Scott Johnston, Paul Graff. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 31, 2010. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Geoff Edgers, Warren Zanes, Pete Quaife, Clive Davis, Mick Avory, Robyn Hitchcock, Paul Weller, Shel Talmey, Zooey Deschanel, Sting, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Bill Rieflin, Bob Henrit, Dave Davies.

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