Do It Again: The Low Budget Kinks Film
For a while now, I’ve been following the progress of Boston Globe reporter and Kinks fanatic Geoff Edgers, who has been working on getting his film Do It Again, directed by Robert Patton-Spruill, made and released.
Do It Again is a road movie of sorts, following Edgers as he attempts to convince his favourite songwriter, Ray Davies, to reunite with his favourite group, The Kinks. What follows is a fan-obsessive journey that encompasses star input from the likes of Paul Weller, Sting, Zooey Deschanel, Clive Davis, Peter Buck and Robyn Hitchcock.
Well apparently the film got made, completely independently, with barely enough funds raised to cover licensing the Kinks songs in the soundtrack (damn you Allen Klein!), and now Edgers is back on the fundraising site Kickstart.com, to try and finance promotion to get the thing out to art houses.
I haven’t seen it yet, but Stewart Nusbaumer of the Huffington Post saw it and added that the film becomes more interesting when you realize that it isn’t really about Ray and the Kinks so much as the decline of the American economy compounded by good old male mid-life crisis.
Nusbaumer writes: “Confronting the possibility of losing his house if not his sanity, Edgers copes with the stress and fear by morphing into a hilarious comedian who embraces the totally whacky idea of uniting a dysfunctional group of British misfits and pathetic screw-ups formerly called the Kinks.
Yes, that is better. But something bigger is going on with this celluloid octopus.
Do It Again is a documentary about the collapse of the American Dream and the desperate struggle of Americans to evade the middle-class barbecue, which those still with jobs call a recession. One precarious American, Geoff Edgers, a member of the torched profession of journalism, confronts the possibility of being burnt toast and flushed down the toilet of the American Nightmare by bending the boundaries of reality to embrace a whacky mission to reunite his favorite band, the Kinks.
Variety’s Jay Weissberg wrote of “Edgers’ persistent, all-American personality,” in the film, and commented on the filmmaker’s decision to interview and film Edgers while doing household chores and eavesdrop on sensitive family discussions about finances.
Weissberg adds: “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. 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.”
Now back to the fundraising, here’s a recent begging video he made, up at Kickstarter. He’s a really charming guy, sort of a Fred Armisen character, only real.
Finally, it seems appropriate to close with a clip for The Kinks’ 1984 single, “Do It Again” from Word of Mouth.