April 23, 2014

Exclusive: Sting, Zooey Deschanel rock new Kinks doc “Do It Again”

BY SEAN O’CONNELL

The Kinks, to me, were a second-tier rock outfit. That’s not a slight against the band. Several of their hits, from “Lola,” “All Day and All of the Night” and “Tired of Waiting for You” to “You Really Got Me,” became part of pop culture’s conscience. They just never attained the same level of popularity and mainstream success as legendary first-tier rockers The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones or The Who.

Geoff Edgers would disagree. The Boston Globe reporter views The Kinks as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. And with his 40th birthday fast approaching — the milestone of the mid-life crisis — Edgers sets a personal and professional goal. He’s going to reunite the four original members of the band, including feuding brothers Ray and Dave Davies, who haven’t spoken in years.

Robert Patton-Spruill’s documentary “Do It Again,” which trails Edgers on his impossible quest, screened to a raucous crowd last night at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C. And while official awards won’t be handed out until Sunday, the lively and personable “Do It Again” earns a special achievement award as the best film I’ve seen so far at the fest.

“Again” dives into the volatile history of the British rock outfit, who admit to sabotaging their career every time fame came knocking. Most of the battles are attributed to lead singer and chief songwriter Ray Davies’ pride and ego, which struck sour notes with brother Dave.

But the film, as all good docs do, draws us into Edgers’ personal mission, and we suffer as this journalist deals with salary cuts at his unstable job and wince as Ray (and his publicity associates) plays hard-to-get with Edgers’ dream.

Others play along, however. Edgers’ status as a journalist buys him face time with rockers who happen to be big fans of The Kinks and want to see the brothers reunited. Sting, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, actress/musician Zooey Deschanel, Robyn Hitchcock, Paul Weller, and, eventually, Dave Davies, open up for Patton-Spruill’s cameras, recollecting their favorite Kinks songs and contemplating on the emotional forces that eventually drive bands apart. In an entertaining Q-and-A following the screening, Edgers revealed that $15,000 of his film’s $125,000 went to film an interview with former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, a member of rock royalty, who eventually blocked his involvement in the project.

“Do It Again” doesn’t suffer from McCartney’s absence. It’s a rollicking trip through music history, and a worthy personal journey too many of us will be able to relate to. And Edgers capped everyone’s evening off with a live performance by The Kinksmen — a famous Kinks cover band — in the famed Carolina Theater. It was an ideal tribute to an energetic evening, and a highlight of the ongoing fest.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • April 10, 2010 | Permalink |

    Zooey is such a great actress, i loved her in “500 days of summer”…i will definitely be seeing this film

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