Do It Again

Do It Again


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Geoff Edgers is almost 40. It's an age many people find difficult, a point at which to look back and contemplate what one has achieved (or failed to achieve) in the first half of one's life. Geoff's life is presented to us through a series of musical clips, penciled lyric sheets and grim school reports. He's a small time newspaper reporter with a good line in feeling downtrodden. Now he's determined to do at least one Big Thing before middle age claims him. His plan is to reunite the Kinks.

In an age when every once-popular group, even one-hit-wonders, seems eager to reunite to recapture the old thrill of touring, meet a few last groupies, pay for the coke habit or just catch up on the mortgage repayments, Geoff's task might not seem so hard. But the Kinks are a special case. Despite the many different formations in which they played, it was their original line-up that really thrilled the fans, and the special tension they generated in their music came in part from the rivalry between brothers Ray and Dave. It was a rivalry that turned into outright hatred, and they've barely spoken to each other for decades.

Geoff's campaign, met initially with a flood of rejections from stars he hopes to interview, is more interesting as an exploration of his own failings than as the insightful rockumentary it purports to be. There's relatively little of the Kinks here, though there are a few other star contributions. Sting, in particular, comes across as absolutely lovely, sharing Geoff's ambition, and Zooey Deschanel enjoys the chance to talk about her Kinks obsession. There's a chat with Paul Weller who tells Geoff straight where he's screwing up, and a phone conversation with Yoko Ono, who seems concerned, trying to provide advice any reporter ought already to have anticipated. Meanwhile Geoff's unfeasibly attractive wife sighs and works out how they'll pay the bills. His small daughter is patient about not being able to go to camp. She asks smart questions and, stealing the camera, shows she can frame a decent shot - one has to wonder if she'd be a better documentary-maker than her dad.

With so many great Kinks songs to choose from, it's a shame the music here isn't stronger, but fans will still enjoy it and there are some very engaging moments. Geoff seems to have bought in to a very American myth, of which the musicians he meets gently try to disillusion him. He feels that if he only tries hard enough, pursuing his goal in a classic movie narrative, everything will fall into place. As a result, he's desperately badly organised. When he finally catches Ray Davies onstage in a London pub, he doesn't even get somebody to watch the back door. Nobody is going to ask him to do this again. But watching him gaze at Waterloo sunset, one gets a little glimpse of a man in paradise.

Reviewed on: 16 Feb 2010
Share this with others on...
A documentary following a middle aged journalist's quest to reunite The Kinks.
Amazon link

Read more Do It Again reviews:

Leanne McGrath ****

Director: Robert Patton-Spruill

Starring: Geoff Edgers, Sting, Paul Weller, Peter Buck, Zooey Deschanel

Year: 2009

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: US


Glasgow 2010

Search database: